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Posts Tagged ‘Strokes’

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Canadian Musicfest 2013 Day Four

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Sharon Van Etten at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had to think for quite a while about including this show under my Canadian Musicfest coverage. Although the festival would like you believe that Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ visit on Saturday night was as a festival headliner, everyone knew that this show had little to nothing to do with Canadian Musicfest and everything to do with the tour in support of their latest effort, Push The Sky Away; I don’t even know if any of the VIP wristbands promised access actually got in. However, as I’ve exempted shows from fest coverage in the past on account of their not being explicitly listed as performers, it seems only fair to have the inverse apply. Yes, these are the things I spend energy thinking about. Pity me. In any case, it was going to be a full house for The Bad Seeds’ first Toronto show since October 2008, and with this being the band’s first time at Massey Hall – arguably the most natural setting for them – it was bound to be a memorable one.

It’s been a joy watching Sharon Van Etten’s career trajectory over the past few years, from lightly-attended opening slots in Spring 2010 through graduating to headlining status a year later and then, last year on the back of Tramp, filling rooms like Lee’s Palace and The Phoenix. So while on paper, moving back to opener status might seem like a step back, when it’s at Massey Hall and opening for Nick Cave, it’s most certainly not. Performing as a guitar and drums two-piece, her compact five-song set – including a new one that was intended to be happy but still sounded mournful – was a fine introduction to her beautifully confessional songwriting for those unfamiliar with her and for those already won over, an affirmation that her gorgeous voice belonged in cavernous halls like this. Someday. Soon.

Photos: Sharon Van Etten @ Massey Hall – March 23, 2013
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Give Out”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Kevin’s”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Don’t Do It”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “I Couldn’t Save You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Consolation Prize”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Magic Chords”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”

Some have bemoaned the slow, stately pace of Push The Sky Away, wondering where the spit and fire that defined Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and the two Grinderman records had gone. For my part, I think that that run of records – and you can probably include 2004′s Abbatoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus in there – as well as the departure of Mick Harvey following Lazarus and Cave’s work both writing and scoring films, pretty much guaranteed that Cave would get introspective next. And accepting that, it’s a gorgeous and immersive record, putting the focus on the content of Cave’s words – of which there are many – rather than the intensity of their delivery, and the Bad Seeds get to show off their atmospheric chops. Those fearing he’s gone soft would do well to remember that the band went ballad-heavy for a few records at the turn of the century before returning to the rock. Even if this current phase lasts beyond Sky, it almost certainly won’t be the last.

This show was also of significant contrast to the last Kool Haus performance; whereas that one was as lean and mean a rock machine as a seven-piece outfit could be, this one figured to be a more sophisticated affair, bolstered by a string section featuring members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Owen Pallett as well as the 19-piece Rose Avenue Junior Public School choir and backing singers Shilpa Ray and Sharon Van Etten. All were put to good use from the get-go as they opened with a smouldering five-song suite from Sky; slow, lush, and gorgeous but with the massive crescendo punctuating “Jubilee Street” offering a taste of what was to come. And indeed, when “Higgs Boson Blues” – arguably the centrepiece of Sky – faded out, Cave let out a snarling, “I wanna tell you ’bout a girl!” and the back catalog was open for business.

The menacing Nick Cave persona, heretofore kept in check with the slower material and informal chatter with the audience, was let off the leash and set to prowling the edge of the stage. A good portion of the floor seats had already rushed the front of the stage before the show began, and though security tried to stem the flow, Cave suggested they head to the bar and get a drink instead; after all, what’s a preacher without his congregation? The Bad Seeds played their part, as well, dressed like gentlemen assassins (the leopoard-skin lining of keyboardist Conway Savage’s suit jacket got a compliment from Cave) and Warren Ellis in the role of the loose cannon, whether abusing his violin or dancing/conducting the string section manically on “From Her To Eternity”. The children’s choir looked a touch unsettled by the intensity of the older material and were probably relieved to be sent off an hour into the show.

The remainder of the set was mostly obvious selections from throughout Cave’s repertoire, the sublime execution making up for the predictability of the selections, although the complete omission of Lazarus still rankles. The strings were used to beautiful effect on “Love Letter”, “The Mercy Seat” as harrowing an experience anyone could reasonably expect at a concert, and main set closer “Stagger Lee” an exercise in elegant mayhem. The choir returned to bolster an elegiac “Push The Sky Away” and a roaring “Tupelo” closed the night out. Having been at it with The Bad Seeds for almost 30 years, his reputation for incredible live shows is more than well-established, and yet he’s still able to send people into the night dazzled and dazed and not quite believing the show could be as good as it was. But it was. Oh, it was.

The National Post, Exclaim, BlogTO, and The Globe & Mail also have reviews of the show. The Toronto Star and NOW had feature interviews with Cave ahead of the show.

Photos: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Massey Hall – March 23, 2013
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “We No Who U R”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Midnight Man”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “More News From Nowhere”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Get Ready For Love”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Breathless”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Nature Boy”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Bring It On”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Love Letter”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “As I Sat Sadly By Her Side”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “(Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with PJ Harvey – “Henry Lee”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with Kylie Minogue – “Where The Wild Roses Grow”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Red Right Hand”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Loverman”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Do You Love Me”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with Shane McGowan – “What A Wonderful World”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “I Had A Dream, Joe”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Straight To You”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “The Weeping Song”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “The Ship Song”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Deanna”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “The Mercy Seat”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “The Singer”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Tupelo”
Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “In The Ghetto”

And some album streams to take us into the long weekend – Pitchfork has got an advance stream of The Black Angels’ new record Indigo Meadow, out April 2, and Philadelphia Weekly an interview with frontman Alex Maas. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on April 13.

Stream: The Black Angels / Indigo Meadow

Hype Machine is hosting a stream of For Now I Am Winter, the new record from Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds. It gets a North American release on April 2.

Stream: Ólafur Arnalds / For Now I Am Winter

The Guardian is streaming the new British Sea Power album Machineries Of Joy. It comes out on April 9.

Stream: British Sea Power / Machineries Of Joy

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have rolled out the first video from Mosquito, out April 16. It features a lot of face-sucking.

Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

Spin points to a stream of the b-side from The Strokes’ 7″ contribution to Record Store Day this year. If you think it sounds a lot like one of the songs on Comedown Machine, you’re not wrong.

Stream: The Strokes – “Fast Animals”

Clash talks to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in town at the Kool Haus on May 9.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Farewell Transmission

Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co. passes away at 39

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickSad news out of Indianapolis yesterday morning, as word got out that Jason Molina, had died. Unbelievably prolific from the late ’90s through the mid ’00s first as the skeletal Songs: Ohia and then the lushly-arranged Magnolia Electric Co., as well under his own name, he helped craft the template of raw yet elegant, emotionally bare and beautifully sad songwriting within the folk, blues, and roots-rock idioms.

Following the release of Molina and Johnson, his 2009 collaboration with Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, Molina seemed to disappear from sight – most unusual for someone whose release and touring schedule rarely let up. An update finally came in September 2011, revealing that Molina’s battle with substance abuse had kept him creatively sidelined but positive steps were occurring; another update in May of last year from Molina himself was even more encouraging and some new music in the form of Autumn Bird Songs, a 10″ accompanying a book of artwork from William Shaff. And then, yesterday, the sad announcement that despite these positive signs, Molina had passed.

I was fortunate to have caught Molina live twice, in Fall 2004 and again in August 2005, right around the switchover in identity from Songs: Ohia to Magnolia Electric Co. Re-reading my writeups, it was clear that while I liked some of what he did, it didn’t connect with me fully. Now, reading over the many, many tributes from fans and other musicians for whom Molina’s work resonated at a deep, fundamental frequency, I feel like I need to revisit his work and be thankful for those shows, even if I didn’t wholly appreciate it at the time.

Secretly Canadian, the label for whom Molina recorded his entire career and who put out his “One Pronunciation Of Glory” 7″ as their second-ever release, has a fond remembrance of the man; Chunklet and NPR also have tributes. As their memorial, Drowned In Sound has offered up a beginner’s guide to Molina’s expansive catalog, though if you want to, you could just hit play down below.

MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Almost Let You In”
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Twenty Cycles To The Ground”
MP3: Jason Molina – “Get Out Get Out Get Out”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Josephine”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Little Sad Eyes”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Lonesome Valley”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “The Dark Don’t Hide It”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Farewell Transmission”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Two Blue Lights”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Steve Albini’s Blues”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 2″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 1″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Body Burned Away”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lightning Risked It All”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lioness”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Tigress”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “How To Be Perfect Men”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Captain Badass”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East Heart Divided”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East’s Last Heart”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Cabwaylingo”

Clash and DIY mark today’s release of The Invisible Way with feature pieces on Low while The Line Of Best Fit and The AV Club do their part with video sessions; note that the rest of the videos for the AV Club session are linked the bottom of the post.

With a week to go before the release of Comedown Machine, Pitchfork has drawn the “advance album stream” card for the new Strokes record.

MP3: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”
Stream: The Strokes / Comedown Machine

NPR has a World Cafe session with Local Natives. They play The Phoenix on March 28.

One of those new Telekinesis tracks from Domarion, out April 2, is now available to download. They hit The Horseshoe on May 12.

MP3 Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”

The Flaming Lips used one of their SXSW appearances to perform their new album The Terror in its entirety, which must have been great for those in attendance since it’s not even out until April 16 – yeah, it has been pushed back a fortnight – and everyone knows there’s nothing better than a complete album recital of a record you’ve never heard. Regardless, the whole performance is available to hear/watch over at Stereogum.

Yo La Tengo have a feature in Clash and turn in a World Cafe session for NPR and kick off the new season of The AV Club’s Undercover series, covering The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” – the “core emotion” they get out of it is decidedly different from the one The Afghan Whigs squeezed out of their version. Yo La Tengo play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7 at Garrison Commons.

Tangentially, a track from the first of James McNew’s Dump vinyl reissues – Superpowerless is out today – is available to download. I Can Hear Music follows April 16.

MP3: Dump – “Superpowerless”

A Music Blog, Yea checks in with Texas’ Midlake, who should have a new record out sometime this year.

Friday, March 15th, 2013

What We Done?

Austra album news and giveaway lead weekly wrap-up

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongIncreasingly, Friday posts are for clearing off the decks of whatever hasn’t gone out earlier in the week, but that doesn’t mean the content isn’t quality – this ain’t no fire sale, son. But it also doesn’t mean I’m not giving some stuff away. Because I am.

Earlier this week, Toronto electro-operatic sensation Austra announced details of their second album, to be entitled Olympia and due out June 18. And because they believe in deeds, not words, they also made the first single from the new record available to stream. And if you want to hear more new material – or are now in the mood to hear some Feel It Break material – you’ll probably want to be at The Danforth Music Hall next Saturday night, March 23, for their late-add Canadian Musicfest performance.

Though a limited number of festival wristbands and passes will be admitted, lineups and attendant stresses can be eliminated with advance tickets. Those are going for $24 in advance, but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got four pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Austra” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that me by midnight, March 20.

Stream: Austra – “Home”

The Line Of Best Fit talks to Alan Sparhawk of Low, who are in town at The Great Hall on Saturday night and release their new record The Invisible Way on Tuesday.

Brett Anderson of Suede chats with DIY. Their new record Bloodsports is out on March 18.

Brightest Young Things has an interview with Philip Ekstrom of The Mary Onettes about their new album Hit The Waves, due out next Tuesday, March 19. Ekstrom also proves game for mini Swede-pop summits, with The Line Of Best Fit having Sambassadeur’s Joachim Läckberg interview Ekstrom and vice-versa – Sambassadeur’s new record is due out later this year – and Q gets his label boss – Johan Angergård of Labrador – to ask him some questions.

Southern Souls has a video session with July Talk, taking part in Canandian Musicfest at Lee’s Palace on March 21.

The National Post has a feature interview with Nick Cave; he leads The Bad Seeds into Massey Hall on March 23.

The Strokes have rolled out the first video from their forthcoming Comedown Machine, out March 26.

Video: The Strokes – “All The Time”

The first video from The House Of Love’s forthcoming She Paints Words In Red – the one that went up last month and was almost immediately pulled – is back up, hopefully for good. The album is out April 1.

Video: The House Of Love – “A Baby Got Back On Its Feet”

In addition to announcing a local tour that includes a free show at the Parkdale Library on April 27, Dusted have made an unreleased track available to download and another rarity available to stream.

MP3: Dusted – “No Trouble”
Stream: Dusted – “In Yr Skull”

Exclaim and MTV Hive have interviews with Rachel Zeffira, coming to town as part of a two-date North American tour on May 2 at The Drake Underground.

MTV Hive talks to Airick Wooded of Doldrums. He’ll be at The Horseshoe on May 11.

I don’t know that a musical from the pens of Stephen King and John Mellencamp is something that I’d necessarily want to know existed, let alone hear, but that the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County soundtrack features performances from the likes of Neko Case and Elvis Costello, I can’t not pay a little attention. The album is out June 4 and a couple tracks are available to stream now. Neko Case is in town at the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 7.

Stream: Neko Case – “That’s Who I Am”
Stream: Elvis Costello – “That’s Me”

The 405 meets Ra Ra Riot, coming back to town on June 8 for Field Trip at Garrison Commons.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo compiles a list of his favourite albums for The Quietus. They’ll be at Garrison Commons for TURF on July 7.

The Von Pip Musical Express brings the good news that Nicole Atkins has just about completed her third album, entitled Slow Phaser, and while specific release details are still forthcoming, a first track from it is available to stream.

Stream: Nicole Atkins – “Red Ropes”

The AV Club is running a series of video session musical tributes to various states, and have kicked off in Texas – of course – with Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam offering an unreleased Texas-themed song in the first one and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg covering Roy Orbison in another.

Also in interesting covers: Joanna Newsom tackling a Sandy Denny song in a performance for a Los Angeles clothing designer; watch the video at Spin and get a little background on the session at Style.com.

Exclaim talks to Mark Perro of The Men.

If you hadn’t heard, School Of Seven Bells guitarist Benjamin Curtis was recently diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. While treatable, they have set up a website through which they are soliciting support and donations to help cover the costs. Help out if you can.

Robyn Hitchcock discusses his new album Love From London with Spinner.

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

All The Time

The Strokes are all, “relax you guys, we still know how to sound like The Strokes”

Photo By Justin JayJustin JayThe Strokes has got themselves a nice little racket going. Most bands who’ve been at it for over a decade would be critically if not commercially pilloried for not changing up their style, but The Strokes get drubbed when they do. Luckily for them, they’re very good at doing what they do and they’re smart enough to know their business model as a band relies on actually doing just that while releasing a new album (or solo record that doesn’t fall too far from the tree) and some fitful, big paycheque touring.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t like to have a little fun with their fans, who are curiously anxious for such a consistent and predictable band. Case in point, the lead-up to their fifth album Comedown Machine. Considering they let five years elapse between their previous two albums, it’s a bit of a surprise that they’d have a follow-up to 2011′s Angles together so quickly. More surprising was their choice for a first preview, though, the synth- and falsetto-powered, to say nothing of a-ha-cribbing, “One Way Trigger”, which impressed some with its un-Strokes-iness but terrified other for the same reason.

The latter camp are probably feeling a lot more settled now, however, with yesterday’s release of a second preview of and first official single from the new record. “All The Time” is almost unremarkable in its boilerplate Strokes qualities, all insouciant vocals, precisely downstroked guitars, and unmistakable air of leather and denim, but while it’s not a song that’ll feature on any career-summing compilations, to those whose faith was shaken it probably sounded like hearing “The Modern Age” for the first time. Cue excitement, declarations that The Strokes are back and better than ever, etc, etc. Somewhere in New York, The Strokes are high-fiving each other or, at least, smirking.

Comedown Machine is set for a March 26 release.

MP3: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”
Stream: The Strokes – “All The Time”

NOW and The Waterloo Record have interviews with Ken Stringfellow, who has released a new video from Danzig In The Moonlight, with Margaret Cho filling in for The Head & The Heart’s Charity Rose Thielen, who duets on the album. Stringfellow is at The Drake Underground on February 19; it’s unlikely either Cho or Thielen will join him.

Video: Ken Stringfellow – “Doesn’t It Remind You Of Something”

Black Cab Sessions takes Solange and Dev Hynes for a ride in exchange for a song. They drop her off (figuratively) at the Danforth Music Hall on February 22.

Stereogum talks to Alan Sparhawk of Low, whose new album The Invisible Way is out March 19. They play The Great Hall on March 16.

Pitchfork and aux.tv have interviews with Local Natives, who’ve just released a new video from Hummingbird. They play The Phoenix on March 28.

Video: Local Natives – “Heavy Feet”

New Orleans pop duo Generationals have put together an extensive tour behind their new record Haze, in stores April 2. They play The Garrison on May 2.

MP3: Generationals – “Greenleaf”

The Postal Service are streaming one of the unreleased tracks that will make the 10th anniversary edition of Give Up a must-buy for many when it comes out April 9.

Stream: The Postal Service – “A Tattered Piece Of String”

Spin has a chat with Hutch Harris about the first track from the new Thermals record Desperate Ground, out April 16. Watch the lyric video or trade your email for a download.

Lyric Video: The Thermals – “Born To Kill”

The Line Of Best Fit, Salon, and Spin talk to Jim James, who has a new video from Regions Of Light And Sound Of God to share. He’s at The Phoenix on April 24.

Video: Jim James – “A New Life”

New York singer-songwriter Jamie Seerman – aka Jaymay – pretty much fell off my radar completely following the release of her debut album Autumn Fallin’ some five years ago. And a pity, too, as her lyrically dense, emotionally overcast, yet melodically light folk-pop really caught my ear at the time. But to my surprise, she’s not only still active – she’s released a series of EPs since that first full-length – but she’s touring. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on April 28, tickets $10.50. And I just revisited Autumn Fallin’ – holds up quite nicely.

MP3: Jaymay – “Blue Skies”

If you thought rock artists assuming new identities for their synth-pop endeavours was a strictly Toronto phenomenon… you’re wrong. Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak will answer to Dungeonesse when discussing her solo debut of the same name when it comes out May 14. Exclaim has details, and you can stream one new song and watch a video for another.

Stream: Dungeonesse – “Shucks”
Video: Dungeonesse – “Drive You Crazy”

NPR has a video session with Wild Nothing, who’ve put out a new video from Nocturne.

Video: Wild Nothing – “Only Heather”

NOW talked to Yo La Tengo ahead of last weekend’s show at The Phoenix, from which Mechanical Forest Sound is sharing some recordings. NPR also welcomed the band for a World Cafe session and NorthJersey.com had a chat.

Those catching Mark Eitzel on tour in Europe this Winter may notice an album of new material entitled Glory for sale at the merch table. It won’t be made available in stores but remaining copies will be available online starting in April.

The 405 talks to Dinosaur Jr.

Vogue welcomes Widowspeak for a Valentine-themed video session.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

You're A Sign

Review of Ken Stringfellow’s Danzig In The Moonlight and giveaway

Photo By Cecil MathieuCecil MathieuThere are few musicians out there with a more impressive alt.rock resume than Ken Stringfellow. Starting out as co-frontman of the criminally under-appreciated Bellingham power-pop outfit The Posies, he was part of the final incarnation of the legendary Big Star, he was an unofficial member of R.E.M. both on stage and in the studio for a number of years in the post-Berry era, is part of the massive rotating cast of The Minus 5, he fronts a Norwegian garage rock band called The Disciplines, and oh yeah when he’s not doing all of that, he puts out gorgeous solo records.

Danzig In The Moonlight, out last Fall, is the latest of which and the first since 2004′s Soft Commands. And while that record was commendable for its stylistic ranginess, it lacked the coherence of the gorgeous, country-tinged Touched, which when all is said and done with Stringfellow’s impressive career may well stand as his masterpiece. Danzig does not even attempt to recapture that degree of aesthetic focus, but its forays into jangle-rock, prog, country, and R&B – to name but a few of the flavours that surface – don’t so much strive for authenticity than a reasonably convincing, “in the style of”. This allows Stringfellow’s sweet tenor and melodic gifts to tie it all together, which combined with the rich arrangements let Danzig sometimes feel more like the score to some ambitious musical production than a conventional album. In less deft hands, juggling this many ideas may have resulted in a grandly ambitious failure, but Stringfellow not only knows what he’s doing, he makes it look easy.

MyNorthwest.com and The Santa Barbara Independent have interviews with Stringfellow, who makes a rare Toronto appearance at The Drake Underground on February 19. Tickets are $15 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Ken Stringfellow” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that to me by midnight, February 14.

MP3: Ken Stringfellow – “Doesn’t It Remind You Of Something”
Video: Ken Stringfellow – “Superwise”

Because the ’90s are back and you know you love it, The Breeders have expanded their reunion tour in support of the 20th anniversary of Last Splash and will be playing the whole of the album at the Danforth Music Hall on May 11, tickets $22.50 for balconies and $25 for floors.

Video: The Breeders – “Divine Hammer”

Bon Appetit has an interview with Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan, which is fitting considering the culinary theme of the new video from Fade. They’re at The Phoenix this Saturday, February 9.

Video: Yo La Tengo – “I’ll Be Around”

Ra Ra Riot have released a video for the title track of Beta Love and Jambands has an interview with violinist Rebecca Zeller. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 6 and are back again for the Arts & Crafts Field Trip fest at Fort York on June 8.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”

The Strokes have confirmed a March 26 release date for their fifth album, Comedown Machine. Advance word is that despite everyone complaining it sounds nothing like The Strokes, it will indeed sound like The Strokes.

DIY and Interview talk to Thao Nguyen, who leads The Get Down Stay Down into Lee’s Palace on March 27.

Rilo Kiley have come clean on their forthcoming rarities compilation, cleverly entitled RKives and due out on April 2. Further information on that release can be found at TwentyFourBit.

Pitchfork talks to Steve Drozdt about The Flaming Lips’ forthcoming full-length The Terror – out April 2 – while Exclaim uncovers evidence that the real terror may be the fact that the band are endeavouring to record their own version of The Stone Roses’ first album, which it goes without saying would be a TERRIBLE IDEA.

Steve Earle has announced a new album entitled The Low Highway for release on April 16, and it’ll be the first one since 1990′s The Hard Way to be credited to him and The Dukes, though this one also credits The Duchesses, albeit in parentheses. All of which is to say this ain’t no solo record.

Pitchfork has details on the new record from Iron & Wine, entitled Ghost On Ghost and out April 16. You can stream a new song from it below.

Stream: Iron & Wine – “Lovers Revolution”

The Thermals have also settled on April 16 as the release date for their first record for Saddle Creek, Desperate Ground. Pitchfork has specifics.

Consequence Of Sound, Pitchfork, The Fader, and The Quietus all talk to Jim James about going solo. He’s in town at The Phoenix on April 24.

Spinner talks about hair with Widowspeak, who’ve made another track from their latest Almanac available to download.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Sore Eyes”

Beach House have released their long-promised short film Forever Still, featuring a number of live performances of tracks off Bloom.

Video: Beach House: Forever Still

Trespassers William have released a video from one of the songs off their farewell rarities compilation, Cast.

Video: Trespassers William – “Believe Me”

Interview talks to School Of Seven Bells.

The Alternate Side has posted a video session with Wild Nothing.

Le Blogotheque has posted a Take-Away Show with Titus Andronicus, and PopMatters an interview.