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Posts Tagged ‘Tasseomancy’

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Lady Toronto

Fucked Up almanac predicts another Long Winter with high probability of King Cobb Steelie

Photo via FacebookFacebookHaving found their prescription of music, art, film, dance, food, and community to have been wholly effective at warding off the Winter blues, local hardcore heroes and good citizens Fucked Up have announced a second edition of the Long Winter arts series, set to take place monthly from November 2013 through March 2014.

Though Fucked Up themselves headlined three of the five shows of 2012-13, they’re ceding centre stage for the season opener – set to take place November 8 at The Great Hall – to Guelph’s electronic-jazz-funk pioneers King Cobb Steelie, their on-again/off-again status again in the “on” position following the re-release of their 1994 album Project Twinkle last Fall. They’re joined on the musical portion of the bill by Rheostatics spin-off Bidiniband, local post-punkers Ell V Gore, and many more. Admission to the event is pay-what-you-can.

Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Mano Ponderosa”
Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Deadbeat”
Stream: King Cobb Steelie – “Home”
Video: King Cobb Steelie – “Rational”

As mentioned, Fucked Up aren’t playing the first edition of this year’s series – although it’s a certainty they will before Spring arrives – but they are playing a local show that same weekend. Those willing to make the trek to Scarborough can see them at Rockpile East on November 9.

MP3: Fucked Up – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

The National Post and Vancouver Sun talk Flying Colours with Shad, out now and behind which he has two local area shows scheduled – a sold out gig at The Opera House tomorrow night, October 19, and another at The Danforth Music Hall on January 31.

JAM has an interview with Will Butler of Arcade Fire, whose Reflektor will finally be out on October 29. And if album trailers wasn’t annoying enough, now we’ve got song trailers. Arcade Fire – groundbreaking as ever.

Trailer: Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

July Talk will be at the Sound Academy on December 3 as support for Frank Turner. Exclaim is streaming their just re-released debut album with the four bonus tracks, so if you haven’t heard it or even if you have, you should probably give a listen.

Stream: July Talk / July Talk

No Joy have made a date at The Garrison for December 6, ostensibly in support of their Pastel And Pass Out EP which is due out November 4, but probably mostly just because.

MP3: No Joy – “Heedless”

Local psych-pop upstarts Moon King will be at The Drake on December 12, perhaps in expectation that the third and final part of their Obsession EP series will finally be out, though they did just release a video from part II so maybe they’re not quite done with that one yet. Either way, hope they don’t burn the place down.

MP3: Moon King – “Appel”
Video: Moon King – “Almost Blue”

Exclaim has details on and a stream from a new tour cassette EP from Austra-adjuncts Tasseomancy, as they spool up for a European tour and a new album next year.

Stream: Tasseomancy – “Braid. Wind Is Coming”

The Winnipeg Free Press, Georgia Straight, and Edmonton Journal talk to Katie Stelmanis of Austra.

Basia Bulat plays a Take-Away Show for Le Blogothèque.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Oh Fortune

Dan Mangan and The Daredevil Christopher Wright at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangMuch of Dan Mangan’s appeal comes from his everyman-ness – and his beard, if you ask certain friends of mine – so when he was playing the back rooms of bars, as at The Rivoli in October 2009 or The Horseshoe in April 2010, it felt perfectly natural. Those shows also felt utterly jam-packed – because they were – making it unlikely that the club circuit would be able to serve his ever-growing audience for very long. And so when he played Trinity-St. Paul’s in his last proper Toronto show last October, it felt like he’d made a significant step up.. or so I’d imagine – I missed that show, making this past Friday night’s performance at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre in support of Oh Fortune the first time I’d be seeing Mangan in such a formal setting. Or as formal as you could get with a Hallowe’en theme park located around the corner.

Openers The Daredevil Christopher Wright were certainly impressed with the venue. The Madison, Wisconsin trio said as much during their set, between showing off songs from their new EP, The Longsuffering Song. Their whimsical, carnival-like musical sensibilities and endearing presence was easy to enjoy, but with the instrument swapping and impeccable harmonies, it was impossible to not notice the formidable musicianship and sophisticated songwriting underneath. It was no stretch to say that while they’re not nearly at a point in their career to be headlining theatres like this, they’ve got the talent to get there. Or to a big top. Whichever.

Dan Mangan, on the other hand, had already grown comfortably into the posher surroundings. Fronting a seven-piece flannel orchestra, he opened with Oh Fortune‘s “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All” – complete with wall of noise introduction – and over the next hour and fifteen, took full advantage of the room’s acoustics and the capabilities of his band to reproduce the complex textures of the new record. I was sorry I missed The Crackling, who’d opened up the night, as they were made up of some members of Mangan’s band and really stood out in bringing his songs to life and in many cases, eclipsing the recorded versions. In particular, the effected/delayed trumpet of JP Carter was used as a ghostly sonic backdrop for much of the show and the barber shop harmonies that opened up “Some People”, to say nothing of the big instrumental jam in the bridge, were remarkable enhancements.

But just as I described Mangan’s steady presence in the sonic swirl of Oh Fortune, so too was he a rock of solidity throughout the show with his mostly-acoustic guitar, gravelly voice and thoughtful, empathic songs. Interestingly, even with so much going on sonically I found myself compelled to pay even more attention to Mangan’s lyrics in this live setting and more fully appreciating the way he balances simplicity and depth in his songs. A particular standout was “Basket”, from Nice, Nice, Very Nice, which Mangan said was a birthday request though its ruminations on aging make it kind of a grim birthday tune.

Though the set was relatively short, Mangan managed to fit an impressive number of tunes into his allotted time and also a goodly amount of banter; this may have been physically the furthest he’s been from his audience, but he was still able to reach out and connect with them and make it feel intimate. After ending the main set with an aptly-named “Jeopardy” – his amp was making unhappy noises and threatened to blow up at any moment – he returned for the encore solo at first, inviting the audience to sub in for Veda Hille on “The Indie Queens Are Waiting”, offering a faithful reading of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” and then closing out with a full band “Robots” – of course” – and placing his mic facing out into the crowd to play chorus while he went for a wander in their midst. A fitting end to a show that was eminently satisfying, with Mangan proving that his charms easily translate into larger rooms and larger audiences. There weren’t any surprises, but then that’s not his game – he wasn’t here to argue or debate or make bold declarations; simply to play his songs and strike up a conversation with friends. We were all friends here.

BlogTO also has a review of the show and NOW, Uptown, View, The Manitoban, The Cord, and The Toronto Star all have interviews with Mangan.

Photos: Dan Mangan, The Daredevil Christopher Wright @ The Queen Elizabeth Theatre – October 28, 2011
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Oh Fortune”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
MP3: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
MP3: Dan Mangan w Shane Kyczan – “Tragic Turn Of Events”
MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The Animal Of Choice”
MP3: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “The East Coast”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Rows Of Houses”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Sold”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Robots”
Video: Dan Mangan – “The Indie Queens are Waiting”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Road Regrets”
Video: The Daredevil Christopher Wright – “Stewardess”
Stream: The Daredevil Christopher Wright / The Longsuffering Song

Feist talks to HitFix and has also released a video taken from her show at the Glenn Gould Studio in early October, which will be broadcast on CBC Radio 2 tomorrow night – November 2 – at 7PM. She is at Massey Hall on December 1.

Video: Feist – “Caught A Long Wind” (live at Glenn Gould Studio)

The Washington Post talks to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, who are at The Phoenix on December 1 and whose set at Moogfest this past weekend is streaming over at NPR. Both support acts for that show – Young Galaxy and Tasseomancy – have also just released new videos.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Phantoms”
Video: Tasseomancy – “Black Milk”

Heavy Weather has posted a video performance by Bruce Peninsula recorded atop Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland. And while there, they also chatted with The Telegram.

The Ottawa Sun talks to Chad VanGaalen.

Daytrotter has posted a session with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

The Darcys have announced they’ll play an in-store at Kops Records on Queen West on November 7 starting around 1PM for a sort of teaser of their full show at The Horseshoe on November 18.

MP3: The Darcys – “Shaking Down The Old Bones”

Pitchfork have inaugurated their new Frames animated feature by turning Fucked Up into a cartoon with Damian Abraham narrating the story of his first stitches.

And finally, how much does Toronto love My Bloody Valentine? Enough to stage not one but two concert events honouring the twentieth anniversary of Loveless, that’s how much. The first, Toronto’s Loveless, goes this Friday, November 4, at the Toronto Underground Theatre and will feature performances from Ruby Coast, Volcano Playground and others – admission $10 at the door. And as a bonus, event organizers Gold Soundz have assembled a Loveless tribute album comprised of Toronto artists – many of whom are playing the event – as well as Memoryhouse and Silver Dapple.

The other event is a Wavelength joint called Lovel(in)ess which will feature a complete reading of Loveless by an assemblage of local players calling themselves So Much Sorry as well as a set from Flowers Of Hell and MBV covers from a variety of other acts. That one takes place November 18 at The Garrison, admission $10 or pay what you can.

MP3: Heartbeat Hotel – “To Here Knows When”
MP3: Memoryhouse – “When You Sleep”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Come In Alone”

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Iceland Airwaves 2011 Day Three

Austra, Olufar Arnalds, Veronica Falls and more at Iceland Airwaves

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt seems a bit counter-intuitive to travel all the way to Iceland to see a bunch of Canadian bands, but then there’s also something to be said about the sense of camaraderie one gets from hanging out with one’s countrymen in such a foreign setting. So after finally getting to sample some of Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur’s famous wares – those are hot dogs, by the by – and a bit of souvenir shopping, Saturday afternoon was largely spent at the Hressingarskálinn cafe where Canadian Blast had pitched a tent to showcase some Canuck talent to the Iceland Airwaves audience.

What was interesting was that either by coincidence or design, most all of the Canadian acts at the Blast off-venue and Airwaves as a whole fit quite nicely into the Scandinavian setting. For example, Karkwa – who opened up the Blast showcase – had the mysterious, incomprehensible language thing down pat. I think they called it, “French”. I kid, I kid. Playing with less gear than I’m used to seeing them with – keyboardist François Lafontaine was particularly light on his toys – they led their set with leaner, more rock-oriented material before allowing things to sprawl into more atmospheric realms, dazzling all the while with their musicianship. It’s funny that for the number of times I’ve seen them live and heard their Polaris-winning album Les chemins de verre, I still don’t really recognize the material when I hear it live and I think that’s why it’s my preferred Karkwa listening environment; it makes each experience unpredictable and unique.

Photos: Karkwa @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Karkwa – “Dors Dans Mon Sang”
Video: Karkwa – “Le pyromane”
Video: Karkwa – “Echapper au sort”
Video: Karkwa – “Marie tu pleures”
Video: Karkwa – “Oublie pas”
Video: Karkwa – “Échapper au sor”
Video: Karkwa – “À la chaîne”
Video: Karkwa – “Combien”
Video: Karkwa – “La facade”
Video: Karkwa – “La fuite”
Video: Karkwa – “Vrai”
Video: Karkwa – “Le coup d’etat”
Video: Karkwa – “Poisson cru”

Random Recipe couldn’t have represented a more dramatic shift in tone from Karkwa’s grand prog-pop if they tried, being a four-piece acoustic hip-hop funk band who proudly declared they formed one night when principals Fab and Frannie started busking to earn pizza money. And now they were in Reykjavik. Now musically, they weren’t really my thing but both frontwomen performed with such energy and enthusiasm that it was hard not to get caught up in it. Their debut Fold It! Mold It! came out last year.

Photos: Random Recipe @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
Video: Random Recipe – “Bad Luck”
Video: Random Recipe – “Shipwreck”

Esmerine made the front half of the Canadian Blast lineup a Montreal-based hat trick, but again their sound was very different from that of their neighbours. Comprised of members of both Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion and built around the cello and marimba, the instrumental quartet had to pillage the country’s harp and marimba supply to equip themselves and still needed to substitute a xylophone for the latter instrument. Even so, they still managed to present themselves as a beguiling miniature orchestra and had a special guest in the form of collaborator and producer Patrick Watson – it’s not entirely clear what he was doing in Iceland but he was there – who offered vocals on a gorgeous and touching tribute to the late Lhasa de Sela, to whom the band’s latest album La Lechuza is dedicated.

Photos: Esmerine @ Hressingarskálinn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Esmerine – “A Dog River”
Video: Esmerine – “Snow Day For Lhasa”
Video: Esmerine – “Walking Through Mist I”
Video: Esmerine – “Walking Through Mist II”
Stream: Esmerine / La Lechuza

While the Canadians kept blasting away, at this point I withdrew to grab some food and just generally enjoy the last bit of daylight in Reykjavik I’d have on this trip. Such a sad thing. But before it was time to return to the real world, there was one more night of Airwaves to experience and it began in the ridiculously beautiful Norðurljós hall of the Harpa opera house – a world away, both literally and figuratively, from the basement of Parts & Labour in Toronto where I’d seen London’s Veronica Falls play just a couple weeks earlier. And in the poshest of settings just as in the grimiest, Veronica Falls were all business and their retro/C86 guitar pop great throughout, though there’s no denying that the vastly superior acoustics, sound reinforcement and lighting made this a better experience. Their set contained a number of new songs, surprising considering their self-titled debut was still a couple days from European release, but all sounded as good as you’d expect. The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with the band.

Photos: Veronica Falls @ Harpa Norðurljós – October 15, 2011
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Beachy Head”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”

I didn’t think I was particularly zoned out between sets, but I certainly didn’t notice how quickly the stage crew moved out Veronica Falls’ standard rock band backline and replaced it with Ólufar Arnalds’ elaborate setup, consisting of a grand piano, string quartet and huge projection screen. And just as you didn’t need to hear anything to know this wasn’t going to be a rock show, once they started you didn’t need to be told to know that Arnalds was Icelandic. The feeling of his homeland was there in every gentle piano note, every wavering bowed string, every stuttering electronic beat – even in the projected animated bird mobiles and flickering strobe lights. Pure, slow-motion beauty. Check out his Living Room Songs project for videos and downloads of songs recorded, one a day, in his apartment.

Photos: Ólufar Arnalds @ Harpa Norðurljós – October 15, 2011
MP3: Ólufar Arnalds – “Þú Ert Sólin”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Hægt, kemur ljósið”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “3055”
Video: Ólufar Arnalds – “Ljósið”

After saying goodbye to the stunning elegance of Harpa, it was time for one more go with the hangar-like Listasafn art museum. There wasn’t nearly the degree of audience madness – or lineups, thankfully – that I’d witnessed there on Thursday, though; it seems that Austra still has a little ways to go before they elicit Beach House-scale adulation from the locals. But even hailing from Toronto as they do (hometown represent!), it’s hard to imagine a place where Katie Stelmanis and her goth-y electro-pop would feel more at home than the land of fire and ice, fairies and elves. Though I’d seen Stelmanis in her past incarnations a few times, this was just the second time I’d seen Austra live and while I appreciated them at the Polaris gala, I now appreciated that I was seeing them outside of their element – this performance, with its huge sound, overwhelming light show and hundreds of fans dancing to the beats and pulses really made things impressive. And it was so hard to reconcile the dancing priestess persona that Stelmanis now inhabits – all platinum blonde locks, mystical conjuring gestures and charisma – with the bowl-cut and glasses wallflower look she favoured in past projects. The contributions of Tasseomancy’s Lightman twins also can’t be overstated; beyond the note-perfect backing vocals, their dancing on Stelmanis’ flanks offered an extra visual element and added a real sense of ritual to the show. It may have sounded like the ’80s but it felt much more ancient. Austra plays The Phoenix on December 1.

Photos: Austra @ Listasafn – October 15, 2011
MP3: Austra – “Lose It”
MP3: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”
Video: Austra – “Lose It”
Video: Austra – “Beat & The Pulse”

That would have been a perfect way to cap off the festival, but at some point I’d picked up a second wind and the sooner I called it a night, the sooner I’d have to be going home. And so it was to the handsome little Iðnó restaurant/hall just across the lake Tjörnin from our apartment. There, the UK’s Mazes were just getting started and funnily, their meat-and-potatoes Brit rock almost sounded exotic after the week’s eclectically arty programming. And for a little while their workmanlike delivery of sufficiently melodic tunes was like a bit of a palette cleanse, but before too long it just started getting dull and that aforementioned second wind evaporated. And that was Iceland Airwaves 2011.

Photos: Mazes @ Iðnó – October 15, 2011
MP3: Mazes – “Vampire Jive”
MP3: Mazes – “Bowie Knives”
Video: Mazes – “Summer Hits”
Video: Mazes – “Most Days”

Everything about this trip – the festival, the city, the countryside, the company – was fantastic and as cliche as it sounds, there’s really nowhere on earth like Iceland. Icelandic music fans are some of the most rabid I’ve ever seen, as a people they’re incredibly friendly and welcoming, urban or rural the country is a feast for the eyes (in a desolate sort of way) and the food isn’t that expensive. Okay, it is. But at least it’s delicious. I will be returning – I still have a full slate of things that I didn’t get around to doing – but will aim for a slightly warmer season next time. There’s only so much gale-force wind and horizontal rain a guy can take. All photos, save a few frames of film still to be developed, are up at Flickr.

Patrick Watson, mentioned just a few paragraphs back, will be in Toronto on November 10 for a show at the Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall, tickets $40 in advance.

Video: Patrick Watson – “Fireweed”

NOW and BlogTO talk to Tasseomancy, who have released a new video from Ulalame and will be playing a release show for the record tonight at The Great Hall and open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1.

Video: Tasseomancy – “Diana”

Also on that December 1 Phoenix bill are Young Galaxy, with whom Impose has an interview.

Kathryn Calder’s new album Bright & Vivid is streaming at NPR in advance of its release next Tuesday, and Exclaim has an extended tour itinerary in support of it which now includes a November 29 date at The Horseshoe in Toronto – that’s a Tuesday, which means Nu Music Nite, which means free, which means there is no excuse not to go. At all.

MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Who Are You?”
Stream: Kathryn Calder / Bright & Vivid

Spin, The Globe & Mail, The New Zealand Herald and Vogue both have feature pieces on Feist while Black Cab Sessions have just posted a session with the singer. She’s at Massey Hall on December 1.

Though The Five Ghosts is over a year old, Stars have squeezed another video out of it. And here it is.

Video: Stars – “Dead Hearts”

Miracle Fortress also has a new clip, this one from this Spring’s Was I The Wave?. Death & Taxes has an interview with Graham Van Pelt.

Video: Miracle Fortress – “Possession”

Exclaim has a stream of The Wooden Sky’s new tour-only EP, which they think sounds best on cassette tape, and courtesy of Webster Media Consulting I’ve got two copies to give away – to enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want The Wooden Sky cassette” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body; the fact that you’ve actually read this far and own a working cassette deck or walkman are the only other barriers to entry. Contest closes at midnight, October 25.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”
Stream: The Wooden Sky / City Of Light

The National Post and Ottawa Xpress have interviews with Dan Mangan, who plays The Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 28.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Found Love In A Graveyard

Veronica Falls, Army Girls and Persian Rugs at The Shop at Parts & Labour in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIf you have a look over the last couple weeks of posts, you may notice that I’ve been to a number of shows lately; certainly the busiest stretch in some months. So when I say that to get me out of the house for a late Sunday night show on the other side of town would require something pretty dang special, I mean it. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not sure which, The Shop at Parts & Labour was hosting just that.

I’d have probably gone if it was just Veronica Falls on the bill. Their debut album, also called Veronica Falls, has been in very heavy rotation hereabouts since its release a couple of weeks ago. Now I knew from seeing them at SXSW that I would like the record – by blending the lyrical and musical darkness of The Velvet Underground with the irresistible melodicism of ’60s girl-group pop and C86 charm, how could I not? – but the sheer addictiveness of the record still took me by surprise. The songwriting is top-notch, the performances scrappy in all the right places but still boast note-perfect harmonies from Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare and runs the exact right length to want to hit repeat on as soon as it ends. If you’re in a certain mood, it’s just about a perfect record. So yeah, when I heard they had added their own show to an off-day whilst on tour in support of The Drums, I pretty much had to be there, school nights be damned.

So yes, the headliners were the draw but the local support was more than gravy. Okay, I didn’t know who Persian Rugs were at first, but when they got up to play and were revealed to be three-fifths of The Airfields – whom I can only assume are either defunct or deeply in mothballs right now – then I figured I knew what I should expect. And yes, the songs led by guitarist Ian Jackson didn’t fall far from the jangly indie-pop sound that made The Airfields a treat, even though he wasn’t the principal songwriter, but it was keyboardist Kaye Hamilton’s songs that really made you take notice. More classically-styled pop and certainly less specific in influence, her songs had sophistication and verve and while the band is clearly still finding its voice, it could well be one worth hearing in the near future.

That’s approximately what I’ve been saying about Carmen Elle over the last few years based on shows in 2006 and last year, and if that sounds like a long time for an artist to develop, note that at that first show she was just 17 and already clearly prodigiously talented. Now, at 22 and fronting the two-piece Army Girls, she’s arrived. On both their debut EP Close To The Bone and live, Army Girls impressed with a lean and incisive guitar-and-drum attack that showcased Elle’s balance of attitude and tunefulness. What I’m most reminded of is the earliest incarnations of Land Of Talk and their urgent, aching rawness and folks, that’s a great thing. Already so assured in what they’re doing, I’m sure the day will come wherein their recipe calls for more – more production, more players, more whatever – and what ensues will probably be wonderful. But for now, just getting started, let us enjoy the moment of being on the cusp of great things and hope they don’t grow up too too fast.

Not that emerging fully-formed on your debut is a bad thing; see my earlier notes on Veronica Falls’ debut album. That degree of polish extended to their live show and even though the basement of Parts & Labour is decidedly less fancy than the stages they’d been playing with The Drums, they still sounded great, taking the opportunity to stretch out beyond their standard opening set and throwing in some new songs and a cover of Roky Erickson’s “Starry Eyes”. It took a few songs to get the mix right but they performed with the perfect balance of cool aloofness and earnest appreciation for the few dozen people who’d come out. It certainly wasn’t enough to fill the place, but was still enough to justify the show and many in attendance had copies of the LP in hand, so there was also that. One hopes that the response on this tour is strong enough to encourage a return, headlining tour because if it doesn’t, well the issue is clearly with us because it’s certainly not with them. They’re simply grand.

DIY has a video session with Veronica Falls and OTM a feature interview with Army Girls.

Photos: Veronica Falls, Army Girls @ The Shop at Parts & Labour – October 2, 2011
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
MP3: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
MP3: Persian Rugs – “Always All”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Come On Over”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Beachy Head”
Video: Veronica Falls – “Found Love In A Graveyard”
Stream: Army Girls / Close To The Bone

Esben & The Witch will be releasing a new EP entitled Hexagons come November 7, which you can read about at Matablog and download a track from below.

MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Hexagons II (The Flight)”

Filter and Wales Online interview The Joy Formidable.

The first video from Florence & The Machine’s forthcoming Ceremonials is now out. The album will be released on November 1.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Shake It Out”

The Line Of Best Fit, The Phoenix, The Vancouver Sun, and The Georgia Straight interview members of Ladytron, in town at The Phoenix tomorrow night.

It’s release day for Feist’s new record Metals! Hence the full slate of features at The Toronto Star, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press, Toronto Sun, and The Wall Street Journal. She’s at Massey Hall on December 1.

aux.tv has an interview with Tasseomancy, who play The Great Hall on October 20 and then The Phoenix on December 1 opening for Austra.

When is a new Fucked Up video not a new Fucked Up video? When it’s for a song from their fake Record Store Day compilation David’s Town. Fucked Up (as Fucked Up) play The Mod Club on October 11.

MP3: Fucked Up (as Animal Man) – “Do You Feed?”
Video: Fucked Up (as Animal Man) – “Do You Feed?”

It looks like the complete, first video from Coeur de Pirate’s forthcoming Blonde is out. The record itself comes out November 8 and she plays The Mod Club on November 11.

Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Adieu”

Forest City Lovers have released a new video from last year’s wonderful Carriage.

Video: Forest City Lovers – “Keep The Kids Inside”

Adam & The Amethysts’ new record Flickering Flashlight has a new download and video to mark its official release today. They play a record release show at The Piston tomorrow night.

MP3: Adam & The Amethysts – “Dreaming”
Video: Adam & The Amethysts – “Dreaming”

Their album release show for Metal Meets in the books as a success, Ohbijou have announced they’ll be playing an in-store at Soundscapes on Friday, October 7, starting at 7PM.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Niagara”

Emily Haines gives Spin an update on how progress is coming on the new Metric album.

Kevin Drew tells The Huffington Post that this time the Broken Social Scene breakup/extended hiatus rumours are quite possibly true this time. Really. He means it.

The Line Of Best Fit has posted their eighteenth “Oh! Canada” download compilation for you to download, share and enjoy. So go download, share and enjoy.

And finally, all the whining about the Bon Iver show at The Sound Academy in August – even though it was completely and utterly sold out – appears to have paid off because everyone’s favourite sensitive autotuned falsetto has scheduled a return engagement for December 6 in the infinitely more appropriate environs of Massey Hall. Tickets are $44.50 to $49.50 plus fees and the presale begins on Wednesday at 10AM; hit up collectiveconcerts.com at 10PM tonight for the link and password, and if you strike out on getting seats, the public onsale is Saturday morning.

MP3: Bon Iver – “Calgary”
MP3: Bon Iver – “Holocene”

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Racing Like A Pro

The National and Mumford & Sons officially graduate to arena rock status

Photo By Keith KlenowskiKeith KlenowskiJust to be clear: filling Massey Hall for two nights in a row is no mean feat. Not many bands can do it once, let alone twice, but when The National did just that last June in support of their breakout album High Violet, it felt like an arrival – the best and most natural setting for a band that had graduated from the bar circuit and were taking their rightful place in the city’s most hallowed room, hopefully for years to come.

Except clearly, they weren’t done. A year and a half on from their last album’s release, though a couple of high-profile singles released over this Summer as well as plenty of touring have kept them front of mind, The National have gotten big enough that their next North American tour will bring them to the Air Canada Centre on December 8. Granted, it will probably be the approximately 5200-capacity theatre configuration, which is about the same size as their Massey shows held, but still – it’s a remarkable thing (and a depressing thing for those who hate arena shows). The band are apparently conscious of the fact that their fanbase may not be especially keen on seeing them play such a large room, so they’ve sweetened the deal via the support acts – joining them for this show will be none other than Neko Case and Wye Oak. Yeah, that ACC isn’t looking so unappealing anymore, is it? Tickets range from $43.50 to $59.50 plus fees and presale goes Wednesday morning, public onsale Friday.

Express Night Out chats with bassist Scott Devendorff while NME gets the Dessner twins on camera talking about this and that, including their next record.

MP3: The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
MP3: Neko Case – “Middle Cyclone”
MP3: Wye Oak – “Civilian”

By the same token, people were incredulous when Mumford & Sons sold the hell out of the Sound Academy last Fall – hadn’t they just played Lee’s Palace that February? – but indeed, they were really that popular and now it seems they’re even more popular. Again, it’s probably the theatre configuration, but that doesn’t change the fact that when Mumford & Sons hit the Air Canada Centre on October 25, they’ll have taken their bluegrass-pop anthems arena-scale. And just to prove it’s not a fluke, they’re doing the same thing down the 401 in Hamilton when they play Copp’s Coliseum the following night and then Montreal’s Bell Centre the night after that. Maybe their quickie Canadian tour is just them trying to catch some hockey games? Tickets for both Ontario shows are $34.50 and $49.50 plus fees.

Video: Mumford & Sons – “The Cave”

Certainly not on the same scale of “really” but still a bit surprising is Coeur de Pirate making what I think is her first regular and proper club show in Toronto at a room the size of The Mod Club on November 11. I assume this means that her new album Blonde, out November 8, will be getting a hefty push to get folks interested before then. Tickets for the show are $21 in advance and they’ve released a little trailer for the new record.

Trailer: Coeur de Pirate / Blonde
Video: Coeur de Pirate – “Comme des enfants”

The Rural Alberta Advantage, on the other hand, seem to have settled quite comfortably into The Phoenix as their home away from home while at home – November 17 will be their third show in a row there, I think. Don’t think there’s any particular occasion for this show besides, well, why not? Tickets are $20 in advance.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “North Star”

Zeus will be at Lee’s Palace on November 24, tickets $15 in advance.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”

Formerly operating as Harbourcoats, former Constantines frontman Bry Webb has decided to go with his own name for his solo debut Provider, which will be out on November 15. And he’ll be introducing the songs live in a pretty daunting setting – he’s opening for Feist at Massey Hall on December 1.

And finally, as far as show announcements yesterday go, Tokyo Police Club will be rolling into The Phoenix on December 8 leading a Can-rocking bill that also features Born Ruffians and Said The Whale. Tickets for that are $25 in advance. Northern Star chats with TPC drummer Greg Alsop.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Party In The USA”
MP3: Born Ruffians – “Sole Brother”
MP3: Said The Whale – “Camilo (The Magician)”

Pitchfork has an interview with Carl Newman of The New Pornographers, who’ve put out a new video from last year’s Together.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Up In The Dark”

Also with a new video is Diamond Rings, from Special Affections. He’s at The Mod Club on October 3.

Video: Diamond Rings – “You And Me”

Exclaim has got a new track from Ohbijou’s forthcoming Metal Meets, out September 27. They play Trinity-St. Paul’s in honour of its release on September 30 and PostCity chats with bandleader Casey Mecija about the new record.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”

Pitchfork has a stream of Kathleen Edwards’ first new material in a while which will be released on 7″ on September 27 and oh yeah, features contributions from some guy who goes by Bon Iver.

Stream: Kathleen Edwards – “Wapusk”

The Line Of Best Fit chats with the sisters of Tasseomancy, whose record release show for Ulalame happens at The Great Hall on October 20. They also open up for Austra at The Phoenix on December 1. And speaking of Austra, a new b-side is available to stream, which is noteworthy because it’s kind of as good as their a-sides, and Prague Post has an interview with Katie Stelmanis.

Stream: Austra – “Identity”

The new Memoryhouse EP The Years has been available to stream for a while before its release today, but Drowned In Sound has sweetened their stream with track-by-track commentary from the band.

Southern Souls has an interview with Mark Hamilton of Woodpigeon.

Canadian Blast chats with The Wilderness Of Manitoba.

Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show filmed in Toronto with Little Scream.

Rockerzine chats with Sloan bassist Chris Murphy.

Under The Radar and The Victoria Times-Colonist interview Handsome Furs.