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Posts Tagged ‘STRFKR’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Subway

Yeah Yeah Yeahs set Toronto show; win a date with the night

Photo By Dan MartensenDan MartensenThe new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record Mosquito has proven to be somewhat divisive. Some are finding it a terrific fourth long-player in their discography, summing together all that’s come before for a record quintessentially them, others finding it a disappointing water-treading exercise that captures neither the fiery anarchy of their early work or the gleaming excellence of their last effort, 2009’s It’s Blitz!. Personally, I fall more towards the latter camp, finding it just alright but decidedly forgettable, which may well be worse than being especially bad.

In any case, one thing most everyone with an interest in the topic can agree on – besides that the album art is atrocious – is that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remain an incredible live act and that the four years since they last visited – two nights at The Kool Haus in August 2009m if you’ll recall – is far too long. So I’m happy to announce that the band’s somewhat erratic touring schedule – a consequence of being almost-headliner status during festival season, I guess – now has a Toronto date, with them coming to celebrate Canada Day – July 1 – at Echo Beach. And I’m even happier to announce that courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away before the $39.50 tickets go on sale this Friday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I I I want want want Yeah Yeah Yeahs” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that to me by midnight, May 30. The winner will be notified before the on-sale goes live.

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Date With The Night”
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

If you’d have otherwise been keen on seeing next week’s The xx and Grizzly Bear double-bill but didn’t much fancy the trek out to Downsview Park to do it, congratulations – your laziness has been rewarded. The June 6 show has been moved from the former airbase to the much more urban Echo Beach; all previously sold tickets are still valid and all remaining – of which there are now considerably fewer – are still $59.50 general admission and $99 VIP. The Vancouver Sun, Vue Weekly, and Georgia Straight have profiles of The xx.

MP3: The xx – “Reconsider”
MP3: Grizzly Bear – “Yet Again”

Scottish folkster Alasdair Roberts will be at The Drake Underground on July 17 as part of a tour in support of his latest album A Wonder Working Stone, released earlier this year. For Folk’s Sake has an interview with Mr. Roberts.

MP3: Alasdair Roberts – “The Merry Wake”

If you’re looking for something to do Labour Day long weekend, you could do far worse than heading out Hamilton way for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, taking place at Christie Lake in Dundas, Ontario on August 31. It was conceived by Daniel Lanois, who will be performing, and features a couple huge names drawn from his producing CV – specifically, Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Emmylou Harris. Not bad, eh? Tickets are $139.50 in advance and go on sale June 1.

Video: Neil Young – “Love And War”
Video: Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball” (live)

Not quite ready to return to being Bon Iver, Justin Vernon and his Wisconsin brethren have announced the September 3 release of a second Volcano Choir album – Repave – and a supporting Fall tour that brings them to The Phoenix on September 8, tickets $22.50 in advance. A trailer for the new record has been released, but rather than annoyingly tease, it actually almost acts as a complete video for one of the new songs.

MP3: Volcano Choir – “Island, Is”
Trailer: Volcano Choir / Repave

Portland electro-pop outfit STRFKR – whose name stands for what you think it does – have made a September 14 date at The Opera House in support of their third album Miracle Mile, released back in February. Tickets for the show are $15.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Scout Niblett, who’s just released a new record in It’s Up To Emma, will be at The Silver Dollar on September 17.

MP3: Scout Niblett – “Dance Of Sulphur”
Video: Scout Niblett – “Gun”

English-born, Germany-based electronic act Gold Panda has a new album in Half Of Where You Live coming out on June 11 and has just announced a Fall tour behind it that brings him to Lee’s Palace on October 8, tickets $15. A new song from the new record has also been made available to stream and Noisey has an interview.

Stream: Gold Panda – “We Work Nights”

There’s still no follow-up to 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You, but Australia’s The Naked & Famous are coming back to North America for a Fall tour anyways; look for them at the Sound Academy on October 14, tickets $28.50 general admission and $38.50 VIP.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Girls Like You”

Two Door Cinema Club are keeping last year’s Beacon an active concern with another North American tour that brings them to the Danforth Music Hall on October 15.

Video: Two Door Cinema Club – “Next Year”

Stereogum talks to Matt Berninger of The National. They’re headlining Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

With their new record Nightingale Floors due out next week on June 4 and streaming now at Pitchfork, Rogue Wave frontman Zach Rogue chats about the new record with Billboard. They’ll be at The Mod Club on June 25.

Stream: Rogue Wave / Nightingale Floors

Partygoing, the new album from Future Bible Heroes and one-quarter of the Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing. box set – both out next Tuesday, June 4 – is now streaming courtesy of Pitchfork. Chickfactor talks to Stephin Merritt, Christopher Ewen, and Claudia Gonson of the band about the new record; they’ll be at Lee’s Palace – well, Ewen and Gonson, anyways – on July 22.

Stream: Future Bible Heroes / Partygoing

Guitar World sits down with Redd Kross guitarist Jeff McDonald to talk about guitars.

The Line Of Best Fit, TNT, and The Herald Scotland have interviews with Bob Mould.

The Guardian and USA Today profile punk rock legend Patti Smith.

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Rolled Together

The Antlers and Little Scream at The Mod Club in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA week straight of show-going is a pretty foreboding thing when you’re generally more inclined to stay home and watch television, but if the first night of said run – which began Tuesday at The Mod Club with The Antlers and Little Scream – is a bellwether of the next seven (or ten) nights out, then I say bring it on.

Though both acts were familiar, their performances were still new to me in crucial ways, in particular with Little Scream whom I’d last seen two years ago in a pair of solo performances that were both enigmatic and intriguing. Contrast that with this evening, where Laurel Sprengelmeyer was fronting a six-piece band and promoting her debut album The Golden Record; an album that’s been well-received but interestingly not done much to clarify the mystery of who Little Scream is, offering highlights in the individual songs but not really feeling particularly cohesive as it ranges from style to style, held together only by Sprengelmeyer’s impressive vocals. The live incarnation remedied this somewhat, unifying things by being both heavier and proggier throughout and offering itself up as a variant of rock built on folk instead of blues. Sprengelmeyer jokingly compared them to Iron Maiden, on account of the three-guitar configuration but just as she did a couple years ago, I was most reminded of The Who, despite the lack of any obvious nods. Why, I can’t explain, just as I still can’t fully put my finger on what makes Little Scream what they are – but I’ll keep trying.

The Antlers broke out via the unlikeliest of records in Hospice, a beautifully grim and harrowing meditation on mortality. I saw them three times in the cycle for that record, twice as openers and once at an in-store, and each time their performances seemed to be exercises in exorcising the darkness of that material by taking the songs and stretching them out into something new. The catharsis would appear complete with the band’s new record Burst Apart, which feels like fresh growth on a former blast site; sensual and sinewy, it practically glistens with life.

The sense of rebirth also carried over live, where the three-piece had added a fourth player on bass and guitar and frontman Peter Silberman, formerly content to set up off the side and hide somewhat behind keyboards, was up front and centre. As mentioned, this was my first time seeing The Antlers headlining their own show, but considering that even in a support setting they weren’t given to brevity – when opening for Editors, they stretched out five songs over 40 minutes – I expected epic-scale things from the Brooklynites and was not disappointed. With the extra four- or six-strings on hand, The Antlers were able to jam out the Burst-heavy set and allow Silberman to roam and even dance around the stage when not stealing the spotlight with his haunting falsetto. The few Hospice songs that did make an appearance were recognizable but decidedly incongruous from their original versions, the transformations applied over the two years of touring having taken hold permanently without diminishing their emotional power or beauty.

For many in the sold-out house, I’m sure the Hospice tracks were the highlights but given my difficult personal relationship with the record (it may have been written as a metaphor but for me was all too literal) it was the Burst Apart material that really shone. Free of the thematic and narrative constraints of its predecessor, the new record isn’t necessarily happy but it does have an optimism threaded throughout that’s genuinely uplifting, rather than simply trying to overcome its own weight. That the band were able to not only recreate this feeling live but amplify it was nothing short of remarkable.

DIY and The New Haven Advocate have features on The Antlers while Pitchfork solicits a list of Silberman’s formative musical influences. The National Post and BlogTO also have reviews of the show.

Photos: The Antlers, Little Scream @ The Mod Club – June 14, 2011
MP3: The Antlers – “Parentheses”
MP3: The Antlers – “I Don’t Want Love”
MP3: The Antlers – “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out”
MP3: The Antlers – “Two”
MP3: The Antlers – “Sylvia”
MP3: The Antlers – “Bear”
MP3: Little Scream – “Cannons”
MP3: Little Scream – “The Heron & The Fox”
Video: The Antlers – “Bear”
Video: The Antlers – “Two”
Video: Little Scream – “Red Hunting Jacket”
Video: Little Scream – “The Lamb”

Her show at The Rivoli safely behind us, Alela Diane has been announced as support for Fleet Foxes at Massey Hall on July 14. Spin declares her to be an artist “breaking out”.

MP3: Alela Diane – “To Begin”

Following in her brother’s footsteps and getting to work outside the context of The Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger has set a July 12 release date for her solo debut Last Summer, and scheduled a Summer tour that includes a free show at The Horseshoe on July 19. The first single from the album is available to hear and watch.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”
Video: Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”

You get exactly zero points if you can guess what Portland synth-poppers STRFKR used to be called. Or maybe are still called, depending on who you ask and what company you’re in. You can be in their company at Lee’s Palace on September 20, where they’ll be showing off their new record Reptilians. Full dates at Exclaim.

MP3: STRFKR – “Bury Us Alive”

Stephen Malkmus has put together a Fall tour in support of his new album Mirror Traffic, due out on August 23. He’ll be at The Phoenix with The Jicks on September 21, tickets $22.50 in advance.

MP3: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Senator”

The National Post, Spinner and NOW preview Art Brut’s show at The Mod Club tomorrow night.

The Daily Swarm has gone through Bob Mould’s just-released new memoirs See A Little Light and posted their picks for some of the more intriguing passages contained therein and NPR have excerpted the first chapter. The Pioneer Press and The Bellingham Herald talk to Mould about looking back on his life for the book.

The Mountain Goats are giving away a new MP3 from their latest All Eternals Deck. Just because.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “High Hawk Season”

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with The Kills. The band have also released a set of acoustic performance videos over on their YouTube.

Spinner has a pre-NXNE interview with Dum Dum Girls; their showcase is Friday night at Lee’s Palace, 11PM.

Writers On Process talks to The Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard about his writing process. The Rosebuds are at The Sound Academy on August 9 opening up for Bon Iver.

That’s the same Bon Iver whose Justin Vernon is all dapper and shit as the cover story of the new Spin. There’s also interviews at Exclaim and The Vancouver Sun and the first video from Bon Iver, Bon Iver is now out – presumably not financed by the Alberta Tourism board.

Video: Bon Iver – “Calgary”

Aquarium Drunkard interviews Will Johnson of Centro-Matic about their new record Candidate Waltz, out next week.

Buffalo Tom have released a first video from their latest record Skins.

Video: Buffalo Tom – “Guilty Girls”

JAM and Echo interview Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers.

Acoustic Guitar and JAM chat with Steve Earle, in at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 20.