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Posts Tagged ‘St Vincent’

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Show Me Your Loves

NXNE 2014 comes with blessings from St. Vincent

Photo By Renata RakshaRenata RakshaIt may not technically be Winter out there yet, but it certainly feels it and so you can’t be blamed for wanting to look ahead to Summer – particularly when NXNE is getting out there months earlier than in the past with artist announcements for next year’s festival, which will run June 13 to 22 – this means the main weekend of shows is a week later than past years and thus will NOT be happening concurrently with LuminaTO, Taste Of Little Italy, the MMVAs… all of which is to say you will actually be able to get around the city that weekend.

Leading announcements off in the biggest font is Ms Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent. Yesterday, she confirmed details of her fourth album – a self-titled effort coming out February 25 – and today announced a Spring tour behind the record. NXNE isn’t scheduled contiguously with those dates, though, so either Annie’s getting on a plane just to come see us or more dates are happening this Summer – good news for those in markets not included in the itinerary, though to be fair, there aren’t that many. There’s no details on where she’s playing, but the show looks to be happening on June 20. It’s questionable if she’s big enough to anchor Yonge-Dundas Square that night, but considering her trajectory of local shows has gone from opener at Lee’s in 2007 through packing The Horseshoe in 2009 and then The Phoenix in 2011, it’s not unreasonable – after all, you know how you become a festival headliner? You headline a festival. You can stream a track from St. Vincent below and The Quietus has an interview with Annie Clark.

St. Vincent wasn’t the only notable name amongst those announced yesterday; you also had Danny Brown, Mac DeMarco, Speedy Ortiz, Rhye, Snowmine, and Until The Ribbon Breaks. A pretty good start and six more months to make it even better. Wristbands are on sale now and the early bird price of $75 is good until the end of the year – and 2-for-$75 until December 24; then it goes up to $99 until May and finally $150. Do with that information what you will.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Annie”
MP3: Snowmine – “Beast In Air, Beast In Water”
MP3: Danny Brown – “Die Like A Rockstar”
Stream: St. Vincent – “Birth In Reverse”
Video: Rhye – “Open”
Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”
Video: Until The Ribbon Breaks – “Back To the Stars”

And oh yeah, Canadian Music Week also announced the first batch of bands playing their festival next year during its new dates of May 6 to 10. It’s okay if you don’t recognize any of the names. Not many people do.

Neil Young has announced a special benefit show in support of Aboriginal peoples fighting oil sands development in their territories. That’s happening January 12 at Massey Hall where he’ll be supported by Diana Krall and tickets range from $95 to $250, going on sale Friday. Information on the cause can be found at Treaty 8 and Honor the Treaties. Young’s new archival release Live At The Cellar Door came out this week.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”

Solo Stroke Albert Hammond Jr was just here last month promoting his new EP AHJ, but will return on January 14 for a date at the Sound Academy supporting Jake Bugg. Which I’m sure he’s totally cool with. Scotland On Sunday, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Pitch have interviews.

Video: Albert Hammond Jr – “Carnal Cruise”

One of the more talked-about bands of the latter part of this year – Syracuse’s punky Perfect Pussy – have put together an extensive tour behind their debut cassette EP I have lost all desire for feeling that wraps through the end of this year straight through to next, and wraps up in Canada, a January 25 date at The Silver Dollar being the second-to-last of the jaunt. Tickets for that show are $10.50 and their full-length debut is due out next year on Captured Tracks.

MP3: Perfect Pussy – “I”

Making up for the date he had to cancel in September because of a hand injury, Colin Stetson has announced two dates at the Workman Arts Theatre on February 14 and 15 behind his Polaris-shortlisted New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”

San Fermin, the Brooklyn musical collective headed by keyboardist Ellis Ludwig-Leone, will be at The Garrison on February 15 behind this year’s self-titled debut. Advance tickets are $11.50. DIY and Under The Radar have features.

Video: San Fermin – “Sonsick”

Nicole Atkins has given her crowdfunded new album Slow Phaser a February 4 release date – check out the album art and stream a new song at Paste and read an interview at Speak Into My Good Eye – and while full dates to support it are still forthcoming, it’s confirmed she’ll be at The Horseshoe on February 18, tickets $12.50.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Girl You Look Amazing”

North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees will be on the road and at The Garrison on February 23 in support of their new album Past Life, which comes out just a few days before on February 18. It’s the follow-up to 2012′s A Church That Fits Our Needs. Tickets for that show will run $13.50 in advance.

Video: Lost In The Trees – “Rites”

London-based duo Public Service Broadcasting, who blend archival educational film soundtracks and footage with driving, Kraut-derived instrumental rock to bracing effect on their debut Inform Educate Entertain are setting out on a North American tour with a stop at The Drake Underground on February 26. And if you think that a band playing along with visuals is inherently kind of boring, do check out this live performance video at Noisey and also read this interview at The National Student.

Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “Signal 30″
Video: Public Service Broadcasting – “If War Should Come”

Not only have Warpaint offered up a second taste of their forthcoming self-titled effort, out January 25, but they’ve announced a North American tour that brings them back to Toronto for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

Stream: Warpaint – “Biggy”

Dum Dum Girls have announced dates in support of their new album Too True, coming out January 28, and it will feature support from Portland’s Blouse, who released their second album Imperium this year. They will be at Lee’s Palace on March 29, tickets $20.

MP3: Blouse – “No Shelter”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Lost Boys And Girls Club”

The Head & The Heart and Basia Bulat will team up for a pretty folk-ing great Spring tour that stops at The Kool Haus on March 30; both released acclaimed new albums this Fall – The Head & The Heart with Let’s Be Still and Bulat with Tall Tall Shadow – read an interview with The Head & The Heart at The Georgia Straight and watch a video session with Bulat at Public Radio International. Tickets for the show are $26.50 in advance.

Video: The Head & The Heart – “Shake”
Video: Basia Bulat – “Tall Tall Shadow”

Demand for The 1975 has bumped their May 6 date at The Danforth Music Hall up to The Kool Haus. You have five months to remember this.

Video: The 1975 – “Head.Cars.Bending”

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In Other Words

Taken By Trees reveals Other Worlds

Photo By Amanda MarsalisAmanda MarsalisCognizant, perhaps, of the fact that Other Worlds, her third album as Taken By Trees, comes out the exact same day that her North American tour supporting both it and Jens Lekman begins – that’d be next Tuesday, October 2 – Victoria Bergsman has thoughtfully made the album available to stream in its entirety; you can hear it over at Prefix.

It’s a record that keeps the wanderlust feel of its predecessor, East Of Eden, as filtered through Bergsman’s signature shy, sleepy vocals. But where that album immersed itself in the sounds and spirit of Pakistan, Worlds draws influences from a variety of places, from the Mediterranean to Caribbean to South Pacific, to create a gentle, yet danceable aural vacation.

Taken By Trees are at The Phoenix on October 4. Work has a brief Q&A with Bergsman.

Stream: Taken By Trees / Other Worlds

Room 205 has poste the third and final video from their session with I Break Horses. You can also just stream the audio of the session via Soundcloud if you don’t want to deal with the… interesting camera work.

Video: I Break Horses – “Load Your Eyes”
Stream: I Break Horses @ Room 205

Stereogum and The Toronto Star have interviews with First Aid Kit.

DIY gets to know Icona Pop.

Sigur Rós have released another instalment from their Valtari “Mystery Film Experiment” series.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki múkk”

In conversation with Drowned In Sound, Andy Bell discusses what’s next for Beady Eye, what was for Ride and Oasis, and what probably should never have been with Hurricane #1.

DIY, Cool Hunting, and Drowned In Sound talk to Efterklang.

Still Corners have released a new single to precede a Fall European tour. It’s pretty.

MP3: Still Corners – “Fireflies”

CBC Music talks to Beth Orton, in town at the Mod Club on Sunday night in support of Sugaring Season, out Tuesday.

Paste is streaming Don’t Be A Stranger, the new album from Mark Eitzel, ahead of its official release date next Tuesday. He’s at The Rivoli on November 28 and another career advice video is up at SF Weekly.

MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
Stream: Mark Eitzel / Don’t Be A Stranger

Exclaim and The National Post have features on Grizzly Bear, who’ve released a new video and download from Shields.

MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Speak In Rounds”
Video: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Annie Clark of St. Vincent submits to an Exclaim questionnaire.

CBC Music and SF Weekly talk to Victoria Legrand and The Georgia Straight to Alex Scally of Beach House; they’re at The Kool Haus on October 13.

A couple of noteworthy support acts announced this week – Jason Lytle will be peddling his new solo record Dept. Of Disappearance at Massey Hall on December 5 before Band Of Horses take the stage. The album is out October 16, and a new song is available to stream.

Stream: Jason Lytle – “Get Up And Go”

And DIIV are back again, warming up for Japandroids at The Phoenix on December 11.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Long Vows

Band Of Horses, The xx, and some other concert announcements

Photo By Christopher WilsonChristopher WilsonBecause clearly I’m shit at this retirement or even just taking a day off thing… Some recent concert announcements with on-sales earlier than I’d have likely gotten to them otherwise. This is me. Thinking of you.

Band OF Horses were just here in August, yes, but that was in a sort of support role for My Morning Jacket and it was a good month before their new record Mirage Rock came out – today, I believe. And so to go with the new record are a batch of North American tour dates, including a stop back in Toronto at Massey Hall on December 5. Tickets for that are $42.50 to $49.50 and go on sale this Friday at 10AM. Presales are also likely, I leave those to you to sniff out.

There’s band features at Toro, Spotify, aux.tv, and Under The Radar. NPR also has a World Cafe session with the band.

Video: Band Of Horses – “Knock Knock”

Also back for seconds are The xx. They previewed Coexist here at the end of July, but are back as part of their full North American tour – as I predicted – with a show at Massey Hall on October 23. Tickets for that will range from $39.50 to $59.50 and go on sale this Thursday at 10AM. JAM has an interview with the band. Update: Beggars Canada has some presale info for Wednesday at 10AM.

MP3: The xx – “Angels”
MP3: The xx – “Sunset”

A little bit of an odd pairing, but a good one if you like guitars big and loud – The Gaslight Anthem and The Joy Formidable team up for a trans-Atlantic rock summit at The Sound Academy on November 25, tickets $26.50 general admission and $39.50 VIP, on sale Friday at 10. The Gaslight Anthem released Handwritten back in the Summer and The Joy Formidable are readying their second full-length Wolf’s Law for release next January.

MP3: The Joy Formidable – “Wolf’s Law”
Video: The Gaslight Anthem – “Handwritten”

Also offering a healthy amount of guitar pyrotechnics are Six Organs Of Admittance. They’re at The Drake on November 28 in support of their new record Ascent. Tickets are $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Six Organs Of Admittance – “Waswasa”

And while I’ve got you here, I may as well direct you to Rolling Stone where The Mountain Goats are streaming their new record Transcendental Youth ahead of its official release next week; Time also has a feature. They’re at The Phoenix on October 20.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas”
Stream: The Mountain Goats / Transcendental Youth

Wilco also have a new video, taken from The Whole Love. So watch that.

Video: Wilco – “Sunloathe”

Dum Dum Girls also have a new video, taken from their new EP End Of Daze, out today.

Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”

Ume have turned to Kickstarter to help record their next record.

Exclaim, Spinner, and The AV Club have features on The Afghan Whigs. They’re at The Phoenix on October 3.

Exclaim chats with Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

CBC Music talks to Josh Tillman of Father John Misty, in town at Lee’s Palace on October 27.

JAM and NOW talk to Dinosaur Jr, whose second of three nights at Lee’s Palace is tonight.

Exclaim, Austinist, NPR, and NOW profile Grizzly Bear, in town at Massey Hall tomorrow night.

Damnation.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Costume Characters Face Dangers In The Workplace

Mark Eitzel doesn’t want to be a Stranger

Photo By Cynthia WoodCynthia WoodA lot’s happened with Mark Eitzel since he last set foot on a Toronto stage. That would have been back in April 2008, when he was leading the reunited American Music Club on tour in support of their second album of the 21st century, The Golden Age. The American Music Club machine slowly wound down again and was officially declared on indefinite hiatus again by Eitzel last Fall, and he also released a couple more solo records in that time: Klamath in 2009 and Brannan Street the following year, both low-key in both presentation and distribution. Oh, and last Spring he had a heart attack (but is okay now).

But as has been the pattern over a career that has swung from the cultiest of cult artists to getting a modicum of the respect that his songwriting talent deserves, Eitzel again appears ready to step a little more into the spotlight. His new solo record Don’t Be A Stranger is coming out on Merge, who rightly believed those two AMC reunion albums deserved to be shepherded into the world, and Eitzel is undertaking what he’s dubbed “The Warm Gentle Rain Tour”, which will traverse North America and bring him to the Rivoli in Toronto on November 28, tickets for that $15.50 in advance. It’s hard to say what form the show will take, be it solo or with a band, but when I last saw Eitzel at SXSW 2011, it was just him and a keyboardist and he was singing AMC songs lounge/cabaret-style, so it could really be anything. What is certain is that it will be hilarious, depressing, and excellent.

After all – the promotional campaign for the record involves Eitzel getting career and performance advice from the experts on video; there’s clips of him consulting with Lady Gaga’s make-up artist Billy B. and at Gawker, you can watch him discuss his lyrics with comedienne Nadya Ginsburg. Yes, hilarity ensues.

Stream: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”

GQ, The Chicago Tribune, and Spinner talk to Bob Mould about what has turned out to be the year of the resurgence of Bob Mould.

Gothamist and Newsday talk to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, finally bringing their reunion tour to The Phoenix on October 3.

Consequence Of Sound, DIY, NOW, and Clash all talk to members of Dinosaur Jr about their new record I Bet On Sky. They’re at Lee’s Palace on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week.

Exclaim has specifics on the third Guided By Voices album of 2012, The Bears For Lunch, out November 13.

Salon, NPR, and Stereogum talk to Aimee Mann about hew new record Charmer, from which she’s just released a new video that has a few guest stars you might recognize and is a shot-for-shot remake of a video you might recognize if you’ve been following Aimee’s career from the outset… Don’t worry, I’ll help you out. You’re welcome. Aimee Mann is at The Danforth Music Hall on November 6.

Video: Aimee Mann – “Labrador”
Video: ‘Til Tuesday – “Voices Carry”

DIY, NOW, The Quietus, and Billboard all want to talk Shields with Grizzly Bear. They’re at Massey Hall on September 26.

Cat Power goes blonde zombie-fighting road warrior in the first video from Sun. Of course. She’s at The Kool Haus on October 20.

Video: Cat Power – “Cherokee”

The 405, DIY has a feature and The Line Of Best Fit a video session wtih Band Of Horses.

The Lab sends Saturday Night Live and Portlandia‘s Fred Armisen to interview St. Vincent, while The Montreal Gazette talks to both her and David Byrne. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre tomorrow night.

The AV Club talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and his right-hand guitarist Nels Cline will be at The Great Hall on November 2 as part of this year’s Sleepwalk Guitar Festival.

MP3: Nels Cline – “Don’t Threaten Me With Your Threats”

Dum Dum Girls are streaming their new EP End Of Daze over at Stereogum. It’s out next week, and Houston Press talks to Dee Dee about it.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
Stream: Dum Dum Girls / End Of Daze

Titus Andronicus have unveiled the album art and first lyric video from their new record Local Business, coming October 22. See the art at Pitchfork and hear the first song from the new record below.

Lyric Video: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”

Trespassers William have released a video from their farewell compilation Cast.

Video: Trespassers William – “Believe Me”

Hospitality has released a new video from their self-titled debut.

Video: Hospitality – “Eighth Avenue”

NPR and Spoonfed chat with Calexico.

Check out the latest video from The Kills’ Blood Pressures.

Video: The Kills – “Wild Charms”

I speculated that The Killers’ show at the Sound Academy this weekend was a precursor to something bigger, and I was right. Las Vegas’ favourite sons return for a show at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, tickets ranging from $39.50 to $65.00.

Video: The Killers – “Runaways”

A Place To Bury Strangers have a new video from Worship.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Leaving Tomorrow”

Benjamin Gibbard – he’s only Ben when he’s in a band, apparently – discusses his solo album Other Lives with Stereogum. It’s out October 16 and he’s at The Danforth Music Hall a couple days earlier, on October 14.

Magnet welcomes Beachwood Sparks to their website editor’s chair with a Q&A.

You Me & Charlie interviews Josh Tillman of Father John Misty. He plays Lee’s Palace on October 27.

The Quietus interviews James Murphy.

Friday, September 7th, 2012

FME 2012 Day Four

Jean-Pierre Ferland and Fanny Bloom at Festival de musique émergente 2012

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSince I’ve covered the essentials of FME in the first two posts, I’ll just preface this one with a curious statistic. Of all the meals I ordered in Rouyn-Noranda over the five days I was there, I’m pretty sure I got the wrong order at least half of those times. Wrong size, wrong topping, wrong food, whatever. And my French isn’t that bad. I mean it’s bad, but I know what I said. Strange. Anyways.

The Sunday of FME was decidedly light on programming – there were still shows, certainly, but not nearly as much and an itinerary of hanging out with friends new and old doing nothing took precedence. Still, there were a couple of things I definitely wanted to catch before the festival was over. Fanny Bloom was the stage name of Fanny Grosjean, former frontperson for Sherbrooke electro-pop group La patère rose, who came to my attention after being Polaris longlisted in 2009 for their self-titled debut. The band dissolved last Summer and Grosjean released Apprentie guerrière, her excellent debut as Fanny Bloom, earlier this year.

She was showcasing this record with an afternoon show at Salle Evolu-Son by way of a set of piano-led modern pop with a light but distinct synthetic edge. It was less arty than I expected; her persona in La patère rose was kind of manic so I thought that might have carried over to her solo context, but it still got pleasantly unhinged at points. As with all Francophone acts, the language barrier was an impediment to fully enjoying/experiencing the music, but melody, emotiveness, and charisma still go a long, long way.

Photos: Fanny Bloom @ Salle Evolu-Son – September 2, 2012
Video: Fanny Bloom – “Parfait parfait”

For the evening, there was really only one option for FME – indeed, for the entire town. I have never heard of Jean-Pierre Ferland, but I was informed he was something of an entertainment legend in Québec and a quick inspection of his credentials would back that up. A recording career that spans more than a half-century and an Officer of The Order Of Canada and Knight of the National Order of Québec are not accolades that many can lay claim to. Nor would the festival have erected a giant stage on the beach of Lac Kiwanis for just anyone, but they did for this rare live performance, and while I can’t find an estimate of how many people came out for the free show, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was in the five digits.

A performer of the old school chanson tradition with a presence not unlike a mischievous uncle, he was accompanied by a big band and backing singers and while I (again) didn’t understand hardly any of what he said or sang, his charm was self-evident and the songs rich with balladry and melodrama, covering bases from folk-pop to disco-rock. I’m sure that it was all slightly – or maybe very – cheesy, but in the very best way and I can’t imagine a more appropriate or authentic way to close out my visit than lying on a hill beside a lake, watching the sun set and the stars rise and taking it all in.

Photos: Jean-Pierre Ferland @ Range Kiwanis – September 2, 2012

And thus ends my FME coverage. It was a decidedly unique experience and while its location makes it difficult to suggest that people just head over and check it out, if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, can speak passable French – not absolutely necessary, but this ain’t Montréal – and have a taste or interest in Canadian Francophone music, it’s worth investigating. And come on – 24-hour poutinerie. Spinner, The National Post, and Exclaim were also all up there this weekend and have shared their experiences and insights.

Anyone remember Friday Night Videos? Yeah? Congratulations, you’re as old as I am. Here’s some new shorts that came out this week to help distract you from that ugly reality. Stereogum has premiered the new video from Sweden’s Holograms, in town at The Shop Under Parts & Labour on September 11.

Video: Holograms – “Fever”

DIY has premiered the new video from Calexico’s Algiers – out next week – and also talk to director Paloma Zapata about the clip.

Video: Calexico – “Splitter”

Rolling Stone and Vulture talk to David Byrne & St. Vincent, who bust a move in the first video from Love This Giant, out next week. They’re at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on September 20.

Video: David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”

Vulture brings you the first video from Beth Orton’s new album Sugaring Season. It’s out October 2 and she plays The Mod Club on September 30.

Video: Beth Orton – “Magpie”

Ellie Goulding has released a video from her new album Halcyon, out October 8, and has confirmed a date at The Sound Academy on October 14. Tickets for that are $25 in advance.

MP3: Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen”
Video: Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen”

Rolling Stone is first up with the new video from Jason Lytle’s new record Dept. Of Disappearance, out October 16.

Video: Jason Lytle – “Your Final Setting Sun”

Sigur Rós’ Valtari video project has produced another clip.

Video: Sigur Rós – “Dauðalogn”

A Music Blog, Yea? – a new site from the Toronto area – has a chat with The Cribs, who have a new video from In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull.

Video: The Cribs – “Anna”