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Posts Tagged ‘Stars’

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Before Us

The Dog Day(s) of December are here

Photo By Seth SmithSeth SmithI’m not entirely sure when or why Halifax’s Dog Day fell off my radar; I was very much on board circa their 2007 debut Night Group and the 2009 follow-up Concentration, but missed out on 2011’s Deformer – which saw the quartet reconfigure themselves as just the duo of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich – completely.

But I’m on the ball with their new album Fade Out – which incidentally finds themselves a quartet again – and it’s nice to know that despite the personnel shuffles, out of the speakers not a lot has changed. Their roughly-hewn and downcast yet unfailingly melodic still evokes the spirit of their ’90s Maritime Can-rock forebears but those ingredients have also underpinned great rock music from many eras and locales. Dog Day sound very much like where they’re from but don’t confuse that with having only a regional appeal.

Fade Out is out December 10 and their eastern Canadian tour brings them to Toronto’s Cinecycle on December 14. Exclaim, The Halifax Chronicle Herald, and The Coast have interviews with Smith about the new album, which you can stream below.

MP3: Dog Day – “Wasted”
Stream: Dog Day / Fade Out

NOW gets to know No Joy, in town at The Garrison tomorrow night, December 5.

Rolling Stone has an advance stream of the new Neil Young archival release Live At The Cellar Door, which captures two acoustic shows in 1970. The album is out December 10.

Stream: Neil Young / Live At The Cellar Door

Pitchfork has surfaced a new song from Doldrums, currently without context but perhaps pointing towards a new release in 2014. Doldrums is at The Great Hall on December 13 for the second Long Winter.

Stream: Doldrums – “Dive Deep Pt 1”

The Drake Hotel has announced the lineup for this year’s What’s In The Box? mini-fest, which fills the Underground with the sounds of local bands and DJs for the five nights following Christmas at the non-inflationary price of $5. As always, there’s all sorts of up-and-coming talent on the bill, but readers of this site will want to circle December 27, when Alvvays take the stage, and December 30, when Rich Aucoin does his thing in a room he’s far too big to play in anymore.

MP3: Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”
MP3: Rich Aucoin – “It”

And speaking of musical holiday traditions, The Wooden Sky have announced details of their fourth annual holiday revue fundraiser to benefit the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank. It goes December 29 at 918 Bathurst and tickets will run $20, plus a donation of a canned good.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Stars are helping local radio station Indie88 celebrate their increased signal strength – which means I can now finally hear them in my car in downtown Toronto – with a rare club show at Lee’s Palace on January 18. Tickets are $8.81 and go on sale Friday.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

After touring their self-titled debut around North America straight though to the year’s final days, local punks PUP will take a little breather and come right back for a hometown show at The Garrison on January 31.

MP3: PUP – “Reservoir”

Toronto synth-goth artist Trust has announced a March 4 release date for his second album Joyland. Exclaim has details, inevitable trailer is below.

Trailer: Trust / Joyland

If you were holding off on going to see Arcade Fire at the Air Canada Centre on March 13 because the only costumes or formalwear you have are for warm weather, then rejoice – the band have announced a return engagement as part of some late Summer tour dates at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 29. Tickets range from $30.50 to $70.50 and go on sale December 13 at noon.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Young Galaxy look set to run away with the record for most videos from an album that’s not really an album, namely the bonus disc of the Ultramarine Deluxe edition. They premiered the latest clip via Stereogum.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Hard To Tell”

Tone Deaf and The New Zealand Herald interview Metric, who’ve released another new video from Synthetica.

Video: Metric – “Lost Kitten”

A Music Blog, Yea has an interview with The Darcys while The Toronto Star finds out why their recent gigs have been at area high schools.

Beatroute, The Montreal Gazette, Seattle Weekly, The Georgia Straight, and Victoria News talk to Basia Bulat.

Dan Bejar of Destroyer tells The Line Of Best Fit why he decided to make a record in Spanish. There’s also a video session with Destroyer at Dutch radio station 3voor12.

Beatroute checks in with Amber Webber of Lightning Dust.

CBC Music has video of Fucked Up’s tribute to the legendary Teenage Head show known as The Last Pogo, recorded at a very punk rock 9AM on a Saturday morning at The Horseshoe Tavern, scene of the original show in 1978.

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Reflekhoter Chamber

Arcade Fire blah blah Reflektor blah blah

Photo By Korey RicheyKorey RicheyBlah blah Arcade Fire blah blah? Blah blah Reflektor blah blah, double album blah blah Rodin’s Orpheus and Eurydice blah blah October 29. Blah blah “Reflektor” blah blah first single blah blah 9/9/9:00 blah blah – weekend leak blah blah David Bowie blah blah James Murphy – blah blah disco-riffic.

Blah blah video premieres blah blah Anton Corbijn blah blah conventional video blah blah Vincent Morriset blah blah Google Creative Lab blah blah interactive video blah blah Creators Project blah blah boombox collaboration.

Blah blah Win Butler blah blah interview blah blah BBC1’s Zane Lowe; blah blah summaries blah blah Pitchfork, blah blah CBC Music, blah blah Spin.

Blah! Blah blah semi-secret shows blah blah Salsatheque in Montreal blah blah world tour coming. Blah blah promotional machine, blah blah blah. Blah, blah Saturday Night Live blah season premiere blah Tina Fey blah September 28.

Whew.

Video: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”
Video: Arcade Fire – “Reflektor” (interactive)

With their new 7″ out this week, Stars have deemed it safe to stream the b-side over at Under The Radar.

Stream: Stars – “The Light”

The Weeknd has put out a new video from the just-released Kiss Land. He plays three nights at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20.

Video: The Weeknd – “Live For”

Bullett got to premiere another new track from The Darcys’ new album Warring, but the fact that CBC Music now has the entire record available to stream ahead of its release next week, September 17, makes it kind of moot. For those outside Canada and geoblocked, KCRW also has a stream. The Darcys play Adelaide Hall on October 11.

Stream: The Darcys – “Horses Fell”
Stream: The Darcys / Warring

Also out September 17 and available to stream is Internal Sounds, the latest effort from The Sadies and you can hear that at Exclaim as well as read an interview with the band about the new album.

Stream: The Sadies / Internal Sounds

Beatroute has an interview with Young Galaxy, who’ve made another new track from the Ultramarine deluxe edition coming out September 24 available to stream.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Sea Drug”

Hear Nebraska and NOW talk to Basia Bulat about her new album Tall Tall Shadow, coming out October 1. She plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10, 11, and 12 to celebrate its release and if you’re thinking that’s one extra date than the last time you checked, you are correct – they’ve added a third show on the 12th, which makes this less a concert than a veritable Basia-fest. Tickets for that show, like the others, are $20.

Video: Basia Bulat – “It Can’t Be You”

Exclaim has got the video for the title track of Great Lake Swimmer Tony Dekker’s solo debut, Prayer Of The Woods. It’s out October 8.

Video: Tony Dekker – “Prayer Of The Woods”

NOW catches a quick word with Shad, whose new album Flying Colours is out October 15 and who plays The Opera House on October 19.

Montreal’s Suuns have slated an October 19 show at the Adelaide Hall in support of this year’s Images du Futur; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

Vancouver’s excellent Belle Game will be at The Drake Underground on October 25 behind their equally excellent debut Ritual Tradition Habit, tickets an eminently reasonable $12.50 in advance.

MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”

Because he really doesn’t need a particular reason, Joel Plaskett will be at The Danforth Music Hall on November 2 to play some songs accompanied by his father Bill. They’ll do two sets that night and tickets run $29.50 in advance.

MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”

Former Forest City Lovers frontwoman Kat Burns has announced details of her full-length debut as the electro-pop act Kashka; Bound will be out November 5 and details can be found at Exclaim and a super-brief trailer below.

Trailer: Kashka / Bound

Beatroute has a feature on Braids, who play The Great Hall on November 10.

Hayden has announced a Fall tour which wraps up with a hometown show at the Danforth Music Hall on November 30, tickets running from $32.50 to $39.50 in advance. He’s also released a new video from his latest effort, Us Alone.

Video: Hayden – “Blurry Nights”

Mechanical Forest Sound is sharing a recording of Ohbijou’s farewell show at The Great Hall last weekend.

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Hunting

While I was out… featuring The Darcys and things of a Canadian nature

Photo By Zach SlootskyZach SlootskyConsidering how much of the narrative around The Darcys’ first two records were focused squarely on the past – the band’s self-title inexorably tied to the band’s own turbulent history and their Aja cover album to their affection for Steely Dan’s work – it’s understandable that the promotional lead-up to the September 17 release of their new record Warring would be so eyes forward, full steam ahead.

Since its initial announcement at the end of July, they’ve released streams of two new songs and crowdsourced remixes, and last week they premiered a first video at Esquire followed yesterday by another new stream via Tumblr. A full album stream should surface next week sometime, but it’s already a sure thing that Warring is a dark and dramatic work that balances the progressive and accessible.

Further, they’ve announced a first batch of live dates in support of Warring and it includes a hometown record release show at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 11. Tickets for that are $20 and some are bundled with early release LPs available at stores around Toronto now – details here.

Stream: The Darcys – “Hunting”
Video: The Darcys – “The River”

Panic Manual conducts an exit interview with Ohbijou, who go on indefinite hiatus following a farewell show at The Great Hall on September 7.

NPR has an advance stream of The Weeknd’s new album Kiss Land, which is officially out on September 10. He plays three nights at Massey Hall on October 17, 19, and 20.

Stream: The Weeknd / Kiss Land

Southern Souls has a video session with Austra. They play The Phoenix on September 26.

Flare gets fashion spread-y with Carmen Elle of Diana and Basia Bulat, amongst other Toronto musicians. The former plays The Great Hall on September 26, the latter releases Tall Tall Shadow on October 1 and plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10 and 11.

Dears frontman Murray Lightburn will bring his just-released solo record Mass:Light to the stage at Adelaide Hall on October 12, tickets $15 in advance with a number of 2-for-1 packages improving the value proposition. The Take has an interview with Lightburn about the new record.

MP3: Murray Lightburn – “Motherfuckers”

Shad has released a new video from his forthcoming Flying Colours, which you can watch below and read (the lyrics) over at Rap Genius. The album is out October 15 and he plays The Opera House on October 19.

Video: Shad – “Fam Jam (Fe Sum Immigrins)”

Maritime singer-songwriter Rose Cousins has announced a North American tour behind last year’s still-wonderful We Have Made A Spark; she’s at The Dakota Tavern on October 17.

MP3: Rose Cousins – “The Darkness”

Exclaim reports that The Elwins are aiming to have their second album out by the middle of next year, but in the meantime are doing what they do second-best – the best being writing super-poppy tunes – and that’s touring their butts off. Amidst dates in Europe, the US, and the rest of Canada, they’ll play a hometown show at The Horseshoe on October 19.

Video: The Elwins – “Helpful Assistance”

Pitchfork talks to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan about their new album Uzu, coming out October 29.

Spencer Krug will release a new album as Moonface on October 29; the first song from Julia with Blue Jeans On is now available to stream.

Stream: Moonface – “Everyone Is Noah, Everyone Is The Ark”

Arcade Fire has posted a trailer for their next album Reflektor, which people are assuming they’ll hear a first and proper sample from on September 9 at 9PM, as per their marketing campaign. Pitchfork has specifics on what is known thus far. The album is out proper on October 29. Update: Consequence Of Sound has the dirt – “Reflektor” is the first single, the video is directed by Anton Corbijn, and the 12″ single of it will go on sale on September 9 at 9PM if you can find a record store that is open then.

Trailer: Arcade Fire / Reflektor

Having had to cancel his June 30 show at The Hoxton, Mac DeMarco has announced the make-up date for that show at the same venue on November 24. The Music has an interview with DeMarco.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Freaking Out The Neighbourhood”

After way too long, The Balconies have gotten their second album Fast Motions together and will have it out later this Fall; Ion Magazine has premiered the first video from it.

Video: The Balconies – “The Slo”

Evening Hymns have premiered a new video from last year’s Spectral Dusk at Clash.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

Baeble Music has a videos session with Stars.

Noisey talks to Valleys.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Givin Em What They Love

Janelle Monáe is ready for prime time with Fall tour

Photo By Marc BaptisteMarc BaptisteWhile the awesomeness of Janelle Monáe as a live performer is a matter of public record, she’s not necessarily been a road warrior in building that reputation, at least not from a Torontonian’s perspective. Yeah, the unclassifiable-but-let’s-say-R&B star was here twice last year, but the Toronto Jazz Festival show was a very dear $70 ticket and the Elton John-powered Fashion Cares event was inherently exclusive, so it’s not unreasonable to say that her fanbase didn’t have much chance to see her. And her two previous visits – Canadian Musicfest 2011 and as part of the Arcade Fire’s 2010 Olympic Island jamboree – were parts of festival bills, so also not exactly conventional shows. All of which is to say that it’s kind of impressive that Monáe has gotten where she is without having really ever played a conventional show here.

Until now, anyways. With the September 10 release of her hotly-anticipated new record The Electric Lady almost upon us, Monáe has put together what may be her most comprehensive North American tour to date and it includes a Toronto date at The Kool Haus on October 19. And while it can be argued that Monáe’s live show is worth it at any price, that tickets for this one are a most reasonable $25 is good news. Pitchfork has the full itinerary and another new track, this one featuring nu-R&B star Miguel, has been made available to stream.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “Dance Apocalyptic”
Stream: Janelle Monáe featuring Miguel – “Primetime”

Because sometimes advance notice isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and even though their album probably won’t be out until next year, The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice of Pernice Brothers, Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, and Mike Belitsky of The Sadies – have announced a show at The Dakota Tavern for next Monday, August 26, just because. Tickets are $12 in advance and it’s an early show – 8:15 start – because Joe wants to watch the Red Sox game that night. Yeah. Anyone who was at the first Pernice/Blake show at the same room last June knows that it will be fun and hilarious, so get on that.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “This Time”

Stars are headlining a free show at Nathan Philips Square on September 1 as part of Unifest, intended to inaugurate the formation of a new workers union, so if you’re a fan of romantic synth-pop but also a die-hard right-wing conservative, I feel for you. But not that much.

MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

American electro-r&b artist How To Dress Well is in town at The Garrison on November 2 behind last year’s Total Loss; tickets for that are $15.

MP3: How To Dress Well – “Ready For The World”

Sebadoh have announced a Fall tour in support of Defend Yourself, their first new record in almost a decade and a half, coming September 17. Lou Barlow and company will be at The Horseshoe on November 8, tickets $20 in advance. Rolling Stone talks to Lou Barlow about the release.

Video: Sebadoh – “All Kinds”

While they’ve not yet completed the follow-up to last year’s For My Parents – epic Japanese post-rock doesn’t come quick, you know – Mono have announced a North American tour that brings them back to The Horseshoe on November 15. Tickets for that are $15.

MP3: Mono – “Dream Odyssey”

It’s kind of hit-or-miss which buzzy British independent acts choose to tour North America – no inexpensive proposition – but English retro-psychedelics Temples are taking the plunge, even without a debut album to push. Full dates are still to come but they will be at The Horseshoe on November 20, tickets $11.50. Drowned In Sound had a feature on the band back in the Spring.

Video: Temples – “Colours To Life”
Video: Temples – “Shelter Song”

And in the debits column of this week’s concert news, Charli XCX has cancelled her Fall North American tour in order to support Paramore in the UK. That includes her September 16 show at The Hoxton, which will be rescheduled with all the others.

Rolling Stone talks to Laura Ballance and Exclaim to Jon Wurster of Superchunk about their just-released new record I Hate Music, from which they’ve just released a new video. And over at Spin, there’s a piece about what Superchunk and Merge Records have meant for their hometown of Durham, North Carolina.

Video: Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mitoo”

David Roback of Mazzy Star talks to Rolling Stone about their new record Seasons Of Your Day, out September 24, and others that may or may not have already been recorded and may or may not be released.

The Guitar Magazine talks shop with Steve Earle. He and The Dukes play Massey Hall on October 29.

Grantland gets Charles Bissell of The Wrens to update them on the state of their next record – a decade in coming – and comment on why its taking so damn long.

Pitchfork goes lightning round in questions for John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

DIY checks in with Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Saturation Complete

Fresh Snow and Mimico at The Boat in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI don’t spend nearly as much time in the clubs scouting out new local acts as I used to – and relative to some who do this, I never spent that much time on that beat anyways – but last Thursday night at The Boat, I was reminded of what I liked and disliked about it. The “dislike” basically comes down to set times that always run at least a half hour and more likely an hour behind and thus being out far later than I’d like, the generally terrible venue lighting, and the greater than usual odds of seeing music that just doesn’t do anything for you. And under “like”, you’ve really only got one point – the prospect of seeing something great emerge before your eyes and ears.

That wasn’t really the case with Mimico, whom I arrived in time to see but would have missed had things been running on time. The stuff I’d listened to from their self-titled EP wasn’t bad in a rough, Kraftwerk-y post-punk sort of way but they couldn’t translate it live. Perhaps if they’d had their MIA drummer, it’d have been more engaging but as a two-piece synth-guitar duo playing over tinny drum machine patterns, it was far more meandering and failed to come together. But the recordings are pretty good for what they are, so I’ll not write them off yet.

I actually shouldn’t pretend that I was simply out scouting for new blood on this night; I’d covered Fresh Snow in this year’s NXNE coverage and had seen them play a couple times in Spring 2012, when they were a much greener act – so decidedly known quantities. But the occasion of the release of their debut album I merited another writeup because a) the album is really quite good, and b) I needed something to blog about.

To the former point, the shorthand on Fresh Snow is that they’re an instrumental, kinda post-Krautrock band – and it’s true that they like the drone and the noise in equal measure. But sandwiched between I‘s bookends of “French Horse Hall Of Fame” and “Saturation Complete” – which amount to almost 30 minutes of the a glorious combination thereof – they also get positively pop (“Helix Pass”) and show off a deft touch for dreamy ambience (“Los Vientos Del Tempo”) en route to a solid initial statement. It’s made up of a lot of things you’ve heard before, but taken as the big picture, there’s enough dynamics and ideas that the Fresh Snow ethos feels remarkably original.

As for the show, it wasn’t far removed from the NXNE performance. Their instrumental intro took too long to coalesce into something coherent, but once they got their feet under them it was full steam ahead. For the numbers of synths they had on stage, they spent much of the show in a decidedly conventional guitar-bass-drums (plus violin) configuration that offered all the loud and driving rockists could want and made for a solid wrestling match of control and chaos. A few interruptions in the flow of the show – though nothing like the power outages in June – kept it from becoming the fully hypnotic experience it could have and should been, but as a record release and coming out party, it was an impressive one.

Photos: Fresh Snow, Mimico @ The Boat – August 8, 2013
MP3: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
MP3: Fresh Snow – “BMX Based Tactics”
Video: Fresh Snow – “Saturation Complete”
Stream: Mimico / Mimico

Snowblink reveals to NOW that their next release will be a death-themed covers EP called I Am a Hall Of Fame; Post City also has an interview. They play BLK BOX as part of the Summerworks music series on August 14.

MTV is streaming four tracks from Mass:Light, the new solo record from Murray Lightburn; it’ll be out August 20. EastScene also has an interview with the Dears frontman.

Braids are streaming another track from Flourish//Perish, though with its August 20 release date just around the corner, expect the whole thing to start streaming any moment now. They play BLK BOX on November 10.

Stream: Braids – “Freund”

NME introduces their readers to Diana, just in time for the August 20 release of Perpetual Surrender. They play The Great Hall on September 26.

Fucked Up have been announced as the musical guests for the September 5 edition of First Thursdays at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, an event which will also feature a live video chat with artist Ai Wei Wei.

MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”

NPR is streaming one of two new Stars songs which will be released as a 7″ single on September 10.

Stream: Stars – “Wishful”

aux.tv and Beatroute have interviews with Louise Burns, who supports Lightning Dust at The Drake Underground on September 10.

The Chicago Tribune and Metro get to know Devon Welsh of Majical Cloudz. They play Wrongbar on September 17.

Islands have premiered a second taste of their new album Ski Mask via Spin ahead of its September 17 release, while Chart also has a video session. They play The Garrison on October 10.

Stream: Islands – “Becoming The Gunship”

Folks looking for an excuse to hang out in the park before Autumn well and truly rolls around should know about the Bloor Ossington Folk Festival, happening on September 21 and 22 at Christie Pits and featuring live music from the likes of The Golden Dogs, Memoryhouse, and Beams and two special secret headliners who – let’s face it – are almost sure to be Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. Unless they’re not.

MP3: The Golden Dogs – “Travel Time”
MP3: Memoryhouse – “Quiet America”

Stereogum has an interview with Katie Stelmanis of Austra. They play The Phoenix on September 27.

Run Riot talks to Basia Bulat about her new record Tall Tall Shadow; it’s out October 1 and she plays The Polish Combatants Hall on October 10.

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan has announced details of their second album as well as sharing the first track, and Pitchfork is on it. Uzu will be out on October 29.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “One”

Arcade Fire haven’t announced the title of their new album, out October 29, but the internet rumour mill is saying Reflektor and this website is certainly Arcade Fire-y in its crypticness. They’re less coy about the fact that they’re also scoring the new Spike Jonze film Her, because Pitchfork said so.

Dan Bejar is taking Destroyer back on the road this Fall with Pink Mountaintops as support but without a band. He’ll be exploring his songbook in solo style and also promises some new songs in the mix. Exclaim has full dates and details, including a November 9 date at The Great Hall.

MP3: Destroyer – “Chinatown”
MP3: Pink Mountaintops – “Vampire”

Spin has premiered the new (and first?) video from Born Ruffians’ latest album Birthmarks. They play The Danforth Music Hall on November 22.

Video: Born Ruffians – “Needle”

Rose Cousins has released a new video from last year’s wonderful We Have Made A Spark.

Video: Rose Cousins – “For The Best”

Evening Hymns have posted a complete livestream of a show in Kelowna, British Columbia last week. There’s also interviews with Jonas Bonetta at The Gate and The Edmonton Journal.

Chad VanGaalen fills in Exclaim on what he’s been up to.

Jim Guthrie road trips down to NPR to play a Tiny Desk Concert.

Earshot interviews Gold & Youth.

Dan Boeckner talks to Exclaim about his new project Operators, which he’ll presumably be more focused on once Britt Daniel puts Divine Fits on the back burner to concentrate on the next Spoon record.