Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Titus Andronicus’

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

And In Truth

Colin Stetson leads lineup for Wavelength 14

Photo By Scott IrvineScott IrvineWhen I listed off a couple of Colin Stetson shows slated for February last week, it was a bit reluctantly as I had a hunch that I was missing some crucial information about the context of the performance – the unconventional venue and absence of formal press release or ticket information, in particular, were flags. But I went with it anyways and now, a week later, I’m amending the info with lots of context – which I should have guessed, given the timing. The twice-Polaris-shortlisted saxophone maestro will be performing as part of Wavelength’s 14th anniversary festival, taking place around Toronto from February 13 to 16 of next year with his show – just one, now – happening February 15 at the Polish Combatants Hall on a bill that includes US Girls amongst others, tickets $20 in advance.

Other festival showcases include Hooded Fang spin-off Phedre and friends at The Silver Dollar on February 13 ($10), American guitar goddess Marnie Stern with local synth-pop heroes Diana and post-punkers Odonis Odonis at The Adelaide Music Hall on February 14 ($17), and Haligonian two-headed rock machine Cousins bring things to a close with an eclectic bill at The Garrison on February 16 ($10). Plus, there’s some in-store talks and events happening at local record stores through the weekend. Wavelength the music series and especially the anniversary festivals have always done a great job of showcasing new and established talent from at home and abroad, and this year’s lineup is no exception.

Tickets are available for individual shows or a four-day festival pass can be had for just $49.

MP3: Colin Stetson – “High Above A Grey Green Sea”
MP3: Marnie Stern – “Transparency Is The New Mystery”
MP3: Diana – “Born Again”
Video: U.S. Girls – “Work From Home”
Video: Odonis Odonis – “Better”
Stream: Cousins – “River”

Even though they were just here in November, New York’s Holy Ghost! are pretty sure people want more of their new album Dynamics and so they’re coming back for another show at The Hoxton on February 14.

Video: Holy Ghost! – “Okay”

When she announced her Toronto debut back in August, I had to ask, “who is Lorde?” Not asking that anymore. The Kiwi teen is bringing her massively massive debut Pure Heroine back to town for a show at Sound Academy on March 15 as part of a North American tour, tickets the appropriately massive $44.50 to $55.

Video: Lorde – “Royals”

Synth/New Wave legend Gary Numan has announced a North American tour in support of his latest album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind). He’ll be at The Phoenix on March 27, tickets $29.50. The National Student has an interview.

Video: Gary Numan – “Cars”

Another of José González’s contributions to the Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack has been released, this time with a video. The film is out December 25, aka Christmas Day.

Video: José González – “Stay Alive”

The Quietus has an interview with TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Black Francis discusses the departure of Kim Shattuck from Pixies with Yahooo!. He really sounds torn up about it; hopefully he’ll be able to pull it together for their show at Massey Hall on January 15.

DIY talks to Yuck, who’ve rolled out a new video from their latest Glow & Behold. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Video: Yuck – “Lose My Breath”

Clash talks to Efrim Menuck of Thee Silver Mount Zion and Godspeed You! Black Emperor about the new Mount Zion record Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, due out January 21.

The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with Warpaint, who will release their second full-length Warpaint on January 21 and play The Danforth Music Hall on March 25.

The New Mendicants – that’s Joe Pernice, Norman Blake, and Mike Belitsky if you’ve not been keeping up – have made a few tracks from their debut album Into The Lime available to stream. It’s out January 28.

Stream: The New Mendicants – “A Very Sorry Christmas”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “Sarasota”
Stream: The New Mendicants – “If You Only Knew Her”

The Fly talks to Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls about their new record Too True, out January 28. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 29.

The Fly talks to Joe Jonas of Metronomy, who release their new album Love Letters on March 10. Watch the just-released first video from it below.

Video: Metronomy – “I’m Aquarius”

NPR has posted a KCRW video session and Filter an Ernie Ball session with The Head & The Heart; they’re at The Kool Haus on March 30.

Pretty Much Amazing have an interview with London Grammar have released a stream of an old, unreleased track via Rolling Stone. They’ll be back in Toronto at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stream: London Grammar – “Everywhere You Go”

Noisey has premiered the latest video from The Vaccines, taken from last year’s Come Of Age.

Video: The Vaccines – “If I Was A Girl”

Interview talks to Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, whose apartment in New York tragically burned down Monday night, taking with it all his belonging and his new puppy. Fundraising efforts are underway to help Dev get back on his feet and while they’ve already well past their original modest goal of $5000, every bit will help.

Kate Nash has released a new video from her seasonal EP Have Faith This Christmas.

Video: Kate Nash – “I Hate You This Christmas”

Under The Radar has an interview with Summer Camp.

Esquire and The Huffington Post chat with Elvis Costello.

Islands have made a brand-new song available to stream. Islands. Stream. Hmm.

Stream: Islands – “Hawaii”

Filter gets to know Braids.

Noisey talks sex and politics with Austra.

Tone Deaf has an interview with Born Ruffians.

Majical Cloudz have released a video for the non-album track made available to stream last month.

Video: Majical Cloudz – “Savage”

The Line Of Best Fit just beat the Christmas shipping deadline with the release of their fifth holiday-themed Ho! Ho! Ho! compilation of Canadian indie artists, along with a promise to be more frequent in the new year.

Tone Deaf chats with Ken Stringfellow.

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of one of Yo La Tengo’s shows at Brooklyn’s Bell House last week.

Under The Radar talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

The Life Of Best Fit has an interview with Midlake.

Stereogum spends some time with Titus Andronicus‘ Patrick Stickles.

And that, I guess, will just about do it.

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Horses

Patti Smith and Her Band at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIn normal circumstances, seeing an artist live twice in a six-month span will yield pretty similar shows. Sure, set lists can change to some degree, but to be able to completely change the context and experience in such short order is a rare thing – but then Patti Smith is a rare artist. Her show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in March – her first proper Toronto show in 13 years – was presented as “An evening of words and music, in memory of Robert Mapplethorpe” and while the song selection covered all the bases one could hope for, with Smith backed by her children on guitar and piano and songs interspersed with readings and anecdotes, it felt intimate and informal though no less powerful for it. Friday night’s show at Massey Hall, by comparison, was billed as “Patti Smith and Her Band” and while for other artists, the crediting of a full band might seem an unnecessary and presumptive detail, for Smith it made a world of difference; it meant that she’d be performing with drummer Jay Dee Daugherty and guitarist Lenny Kaye, and it meant that she was going to rock.

If you assumed the assemblage of the bandmates who’d been with her since her landmark debut album Horses almost 40 years ago – bassist Tony Shanahan, who’d also been along in March, and guitarist Jack Petruzzelli rounded out the ensemble – meant that there’d be more vintage material on offer, then you’d have been correct. Though the kick drum said “Banga” and the show could have been considered the Toronto stop of the tour for Smith’s last album, the set list tilted very heavily towards Smith’s ’70s output. They opened the show with “Dancing Barefoot” and “Redondo Beach”, and and though their collective influence on punk and garage rock can’t be overstated, Smith’s band performed with plenty of polish and refinement; even restraint. But it was pretty punk when towards the end of a sprawling “Birdland” – and not for the last time – Smith turned and spit onstage; not sure how many times that’s happened at Massey Hall.

But it should not have been taken as any mark of disrespect for the hallowed venue. Indeed, Smith was most excited to be playing the room again for the first time in 37 years, mentioning how excited she was in 1976 to be playing on the same stage that Maria Callas had once sang on. Hers was one of many ghosts evoked throughout the show, alongside Jim Morrison (“Break It Up”), Amy Winehouse (“This Is The Girl”), John Lennon (an unplanned cover of “Beautiful Boy”), and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith (“Because The Night”). Still, unlike the Queen Elizabeth show, the theme of the show would be rebellion rather than remembrances, the tone more electrifying than elegiac.

Though the front half of the show had many highlights – an impromptu ode to Nicole Kidman as a nod to the TIFF festivities going on around the city prefaced “My Blakean Year” – it was after Smith left the band in Kaye’s hands for a medley saluting Toronto’s garage rock roots to dance in the audience that things really kicked into high gear. A smouldering “Ain’t It Strange” lit the match, a Television/CBGBs-saluting “We Three” fanned the flames, and “Because The Night”, “Pissing In A River”, and raging “Horses”/”Gloria” absolutely blew the place up, punctuated by Smith’s declaration, “This is not a movie – this is real life!”. The encore kept the intensity up, with Smith passing guitar duties on “Banga” to an audience member (he was basically tasked with playing a D chord ad infinitum) but taking possession of a Strat at the tail end of a searing, show-closing “Rock’n’Roll Nigger” for the express purpose of feeding back and then tearing off every one of the strings. A majestic finish to the show and to a year where Smith more than made up for years of 416 neglect.

NOW, Radio Free Canuckistan, and Digital Journal also have reviews of the show.

Photos: Patti Smith @ Massey Hall – September 6, 2013
MP3: Patti Smith – “Wing”
Video: Patti Smith – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Video: Patti Smith – “People Have The Power”
Video: Patti Smith – “Summer Cannibals”
Video: Patti Smith – “Rock’N’Roll Nigger”

With The Electric Lady finally out tomorrow, Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Spin all have feature pieces on the inimitable Janelle Monáe. Advance streams of the album have been pretty tightly geoblocked, but Canadians can hear it via Exclaim; Americans can try VH1. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Stream: Janelle Monáe / The Electric Lady

Portland’s Blouse are streaming their new record Imperium at Hype Machine until it officially comes out on September 17. Noisey also has an interview with the band.

Stream: Blouse / Imperium

NPR has got the new Sebadoh record Defend Yourself on stream before it comes out September 17. They’ll play it at The Horseshoe on November 8.

Stream: Sebadoh / Defend Yourself

The New York Times has a feature on Okkervil River while Interview sends frontman Will Sheff to talk to their album cover artist William Schaff and co.create finds out about the thinking behind the marketing campaign for the album. Okkervil River plays The Phoenix on September 28.

Clash talks to Explosions In The Sky. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4 in support of Nine Inch Nails.

Still no album info, but Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from TV On The Radio.

Video: TV On The Radio – “Mercy”

Patrick Stickles details to The Missoulian his plans for the next Titus Andronicus album, which of course will be a rock opera.

Salon, The Chicago Tribune, Metro, and Noisey chat with Mac McCaughan of Superchunk.

Elle talks to Caitlin Rose about her wonderful cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits”; State just talks to her about whatever.

Video: Caitlin Rose – “Pink Rabbits”

The National Post, NOW, and The AV Club have interviews with Neko Case.

The Fly interviews Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV.

The New York Times talks to Black Francis about the post-Kim Deal Pixies v2.0.

Yo La Tengo stops in at Daytrotter for a session.

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Toronto Urban Roots Fest Day Three

The Hold Steady, Frank Turner, Dawes, and more at TURF 2013

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWait, what happened to Toronto Urban Roots Fest day two? Exhaustion and a backlog of Hannibal happened, but I was mostly recharged and ready to go for the full-day programmes down at Fort York over this past weekend; Saturday, in particular, was not to be missed as it would be the day that the “R” in “TURF” would stop standing for “roots” and most definitely stand for “rock”.

Los Angeles’ Dawes straddled those two solitudes quite nicely, mind, with their sweet Laurel Canyon-inspired harmonies and songwriting and edge-of-jam-band – yet always totally tasteful – guitar solos courtesy of frontman Taylor Goldsmith; it was an ideal balance of crunchy and smooth, if you’re given to peanut butter analogies. But as solid a frontman as Taylor was, the band’s secret weapon was his brother Griffin, who contributed astonishing backing vocals from behind the kit along with some killer drummer face for good measure. They didn’t draw the biggest mid-afternoon crowd – possibly because they had another headlining show slated for Lee’s Palace later that night – but when those who were there were called on to sing along in “When My Time Comes”, they sounded legion. Very impressive.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an interview with Dawes.

Photos: Dawes @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: Dawes – “If I Wanted Someone”
Video: Dawes – “From A Window Seat”
Video: Dawes – “When My Time Comes”
Video: Dawes – “Time Spent In Los Angeles”
Video: Dawes – “Love Is All I Am”

You could arguably file Dartmouth’s Matt Mays alongside Dawes in record stores where “roots-rock” is a distinct thing, but he definitely dwells far more toward the rock end of that spectrum – those who found Dawes a bit sedate or polite was probably delighted by the balls-out approach favoured by Mays and his crew. Though undoubtedly still shaken by the sudden passing of guitarist Jay Smith barely a month earlier, from a performance point of view they were firing on all cylinders with a stock of tunes tailor-made for playing loud in the Summer sun. Theirs was a set of dueling guitars and whipping sweaty hair, and I think my favourite part of their set was after a a particularly energetic number, Mays mouthed “how long?” to the stagehand and incredulously repeated, “Twenty-five minutes?!?” – they were not pacing themselves, and the show was all the better for it.

Photos: Matt Mays @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 6, 2013
Video: Matt Mays – “Indio”
Video: Matt Mays – “Take It On Faith”
Video: Matt Mays – “City Of Lakes”
Video: Matt Mays – “Cocaine Cowgirl”
Video: Matt Mays & El Torpedo – “On The Hood”
Video: Matt Mays & El Torpedo – “Tall Trees”

Though as I understand it, he’s a pretty big star in the UK now, I’d somehow managed to never hear Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls before their set, and all I had to go on was that apparently he gets compared to Billy Bragg a lot. Which is cool, because I like Billy Bragg. As it turns out, that’s not the best reference point because Turner really doesn’t sound like Billy Bragg. Handsome and poshly-accented, his songs sound political but are far vaguer than anything Bragg has ever penned, favouring pub-friendly anthemicism to fiery activism and commentary; more Pogues than Clash. But while it’s unlikely to incite a revolution, that everyman approach makes for some rousing music and there’s no debating his ability to stir up a crowd. Energetic and charismatic, he was quick with the banter and expressing his appreciation for the city – he’s no stranger to Toronto stages – and curried some domestic favour with a sharp cover of The Weakerthans’ “A Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”; a canny move, as everyone loves a cat song.

RTE has an interview with Turner.

Photos: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: Frank Turner – “The Roads”
Stream: Frank Turner – “Plea From A Cat Named Virtue”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Way I Tend To Be”
Video: Frank Turner – “Recovery”
Video: Frank Turner – “Four Simple Words”
Video: Frank Turner – “Sailor’s Boots”
Video: Frank Turner – “Wessex Boy”
Video: Frank Turner – “If I Ever Stray”
Video: Frank Turner – “Peggy Sang The Blues”
Video: Frank Turner – “I Still Believe”
Video: Frank Turner – “Try This At Home”
Video: Frank Turner – “Isabel”
Video: Frank Turner – “Poetry Of The Deed”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Road”
Video: Frank Turner – “Long Live The Queen”
Video: Frank Turner – “I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous”
Video: Frank Turner – “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot”
Video: Frank Turner – “Photosynthesis”
Video: Frank Turner – “The Real Damage”
Video: Frank Turner – “Vital Signs”
Video: Frank Turner – “Casanova Lament”

My relationship with Toronto’s own Lowest of The Low is a long one. Anyone who knew me in my late teens/early twenties – or read this post from 2007 knew that they were easily my favourite band going and hugely important to me, and so when they announced that after their 2000 reunion turned into a going concern, they were again hanging it up for good with a final hometown show that December, it stirred all kinds of memories and nostalgia and whatever, and I bid them farewell. Well, of course they didn’t actually split up, as some 2010 one-off shows turned into tours and more shows and though I probably wouldn’t have gone to them anyways, I felt that I needed to boycott them on principle. Happily, I’ve gotten over myself and allowed that the band is allowed to do whatever the hell they want, and thankfully was able to actually enjoy their TURF set rather than grumble about it.

Interestingly, they were back down to a four-piece – founding bassist David Alexander remained absent, but utility player Lawrence Nichols was no longer in the fold – and while they did roll out some new songs, noting that they were going back into the studio to record a fourth album, it was the old tunes that made the day. I still know all the words to “Eternal Fatalist”, “Bleed A Little While Tonight”, and “Rosy & Grey” and probably will until the day I die – and even though Stephen Stanley’s guitar was nearly inaudible in the mix for the first half of the set, I was able to hum every solo as well. They weren’t that tight up there, certainly not compared to the full-time touring outfits sharing the bill with them, but were good enough for rock’n’roll and Hawkins is still a sharp and funny frontman. Not sure about that hair, though, Ron.

Photos: The Lowest Of The Low @ Garrison Commons, East Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Gamble”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Dogs Of February”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Bleed A Little While Tonight”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “Subversives”
MP3: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Unbearable Lightness Of Jean” (live)
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “Rosy & Grey” (live)
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “The Last Recidivist”
Video: The Lowest Of The Low – “Eternal Fatalist”

And then The Hold Steady. Because I’d seen them so so so many times in a three-year span, I didn’t realize that it had actually been over four years since I saw Craig Finn and the boys do their thing. The upside of this is that it made our reunion at TURF all that more joyous, though anything Hold Steady is bound to be joyous regardless.

After a series of introductions – festival organizer intro-ed sportscaster Dave Hodge who intro-ed superfan Frank Turner who finally intro-ed the band before running down into the pit to rock out to the show – The Hold Steady took the stage to the biggest cheers of the day and put on a clinic about the power and celebratory spirit of rock’n’roll. Powering through a seventeen-song set that gave about equal time to all their records including the new one they’d be going into the studio to record this week, the band were in excellent form with Finn in extra-good spirits from seeing his Minnesota Twins shut out the hometown Blue Jays down the street earlier in the afternoon. Having missed the Heaven Is Whenever tour entirely, it was my first time seeing them without keyboardist Franz Nicolay, and while his keyboard flourishes and sartorial flair were missed, new guitarist Steve Selvidge endeared himself with some Thin Lizzy-esque lead lines with Tad Kubler. And even after it was done, it wasn’t as the roaring audience demanded that rarest of beasts – an encore from anyone but the last act of the night, they rip-roared through “Stay Positive”; Frank Turner leapt onstage to add vocals, but we all knew the “whoa-oh-oh”s. Exhausting and exhilarating.

Photos: The Hold Steady @ Garrison Commons, West Stage – July 6, 2013
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Hurricane J”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Sequestered In Memphis”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy!”
MP3: The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Stay Positive”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy!”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”
Video: The Hold Steady – “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”
Video: The Hold Steady – “The Swish”

Speaking of rock… Drive-By Truckers haven’t been through town in a while – not since November 2011 behind their last full-length Go-Go Boots, what with both Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley working on solo projects and the departures of bassist Shona Tucker and guitarist John Neff, but the Truckers are back on the road and will be at The Phoenix on November 2 with Old 97’s, who themselves haven’t been to town since Spring 2011, along as support. Not sure if this means there’s new records on the way from either of them, but I get the feeling folks will be perfectly happy to hear the old stuff. NYC Taper has posted a recording of an Old 97s show in Brooklyn last week, if you want to hear what Rhett and the boys are sounding like these days.

MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Used To Be A Cop”
MP3: Old 97’s – “Brown-Haired Daughter”

Exclaim has specifics on the new double-album from Quasi, who are marking their twentieth anniversary as a band with Mole City, out October 1. There’s a trailer and advance MP3 to inspect.

MP3: Quasi – “You Can Stay But You Got To Go”
Trailer: Quasi / Mole City

Cincinnati CityBeat welcomes home native sons The National with a feature interview.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, who also just rolled out a new video from Specter At The Feast.

Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Hate The Taste”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Saturday Looks Good To Me.

Future Bible Heroes have released a new video from their latest album Partygoing, which will surely make up for the sting of knowing that their show at Lee’s Palace, originally set for later this month, has been canceled. But that happened ages ago, so you already knew that, right? Right.

Video: Future Bible Heroes – “Living, Loving, Partygoing”

Titus Andronicus have rolled out a new album from last year’s Local Business and are already taking preorders for their fourth album, due for release next year.

Video: Titus Andronicus – “Still Life With Hot Deuce And Silver Platter”

Under The Radar interviews Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

Consequence Of Sound has compiled and impressive oral history of Big Star.

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Happy Days

Blouse continue to tailor sound on Imperium

Photo By Anna IgnatenkoAnna IgnatenkoPortland-based trio Blouse made a pretty positive impression with their 2011 self-titled debut and its alluring balance of mechanical post-punk rhythms and shoegazey textures, be they synth- or guitar-created. Advance word on their just-announced second album Imperium, however, makes it sound as though they’ve elected to up the organic quotient, entering the studio with an “instruments that don’t plug into the wall” mandate.

Based on the first single from Imperium, this hasn’t drastically changed the band’s aesthetic – Charlie Hilton’s vocals are still entrancingly Nico-icy and melancholic – but the greater emphasis on live instrumentation certainly makes them sound more like a proper rock band than a “project”, as they initially referenced themselves. Some may bemoan their tilt towards the conventional, but if the end result is more and better songs, then I’m all for it.

Imperium is out September 17 and as a sort of press release, label Captured Tracks has a Q&A with the band about the new album.

MP3: Blouse – “No Shelter”

Spin has a feature interview with Kurt Vile, who’s in town to play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 7.

NYC Taper has a recording of Yo La Tengo’s final show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey. They play TURF on July 7 at Garrison Common.

Stereogum asks Jeff Tweedy what’s going on with the new Wilco record. Answer – not much; writing, no recording. So expect to hear stuff you know when they play The Molson Amphitheatre on July 15 opening for Bob Dylan. And don’t pretend that bothers you.

Interview talks to electronic/ambient artist Julianna Barwick about her new album Nepenthe, due out on August 20 and with a new song available to stream. She’s in town at Double Double Land on September 26.

Stream: Julianna Barwick – “One Half”

Stereogum talks to Laura Ballance and The Calgary Herald to Jim Wilbur of Superchunk; Ballance is probably thankful she no longer tours with the band as they’re having a hell of a time in flooded Calgary for Sled Island this weekend. Their new album I Hate Music is out August 20.

Under The Radar has details on the new record from Lissie; Back To Forever will be out September 10. The Line Of Best Fit has a video session with the roots-rocker.

The Thurston Moore-powered Chelsea Light Moving are bringing their self-titled debut back to town for a show at The Horseshoe on September 15.

MP3: Chelsea Light Moving – “Burroughs”

Local Natives have rolled out a new video from this year’s Hummingbird. They play The Kool Haus on September 21.

Video: Local Natives – “You & I”

Chicago’s Disappears and San Francisco’s Weekend have paired up for an Autumn co-headlining tour that’s sure to be loud and abrasive in all the right places and wraps up in Toronto at The Garrison on October 25. Disappears released Pre-Language last year; Weekend’s new album Jinx comes out July 23.

MP3: Disappears – “New Fast”
MP3: Weekend – “Coma Summer”

La Sera have been announced as support for Kate Nash’s upcoming show at The Phoenix on November 5. Their last release was 2012’s Sees The Light

MP3: La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

Noisey, The Citizen-Times, and Interview get to know Beach Day, whose debut Trip Trap Attack came out this week.

Interview has an interview with Alan Sparhawk of Low.

The Postal Service has released a video for one of the new songs on the anniversary edition of Give Up.

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

aux.tv talks to Titus Andronicus.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Mutual Core

It’s the return of Björk to Toronto, starring Björk. And maybe you. But definitely Björk.

Photo By Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinInez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh MatadinIt might seem like Björk doesn’t tour much anymore – after all, it’s been nearly five years since she was last here headlining V Fest 2007 in support of Volta, but that was actually her last album before 2011’s Biophilia. So besides the fact that she’s been working at a slower pace than when the ’90s triumvirate of Debut/Post/Homogenic made her one of the most unconventional pop stars of Alternative Nation, there’s also the demands of raising a family, and anyways – if you could live here just watching TED talks or in hotels on the road watching ESPN, where would you rather hang out?

In any case, Biophilia initially came with an ambitious slate of live shows, but the preference for more intimate, in-the-round, month-long residencies over conventional shows limited the cities that could host her to the likes of New York, Paris, and Manchester and even if there were intentions of adding more cities, the need for vocal polyp surgery last Fall would have probably ixnayed those. All of which is to say, yes Björk has been away for a while but she’s not forgotten us – as I speculated last month, she is indeed making a stop between already-announced engagements at Ottawa Bluesfest and Pitchfork Festival, and will be at Echo Beach on July 16 with whatever wild, weird, and wonderful show she’s put together for this North American jaunt.

Tickets for the show are $64.50 and $85.00 for VIP, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got one pair of passes to the show to give away before the regular onsale happens this Thursday morning at 10AM. To enter, email me at contests@chromewaves.net with “I want to see Bjork” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me by midnight, April 3. Yes, that’s tomorrow night. Winners will be informed before the general on-sale goes live.

MP3: Björk – “Verandi”
MP3: Björk – “It’s In Our Hands”
MP3: Björk – “Cosmogony”
Video: Björk – “Mutual Core” (in Times Square)

Titus Andronicus have announced a May 2 date at Lee’s Palace in support of last year’s Local Business. Yes they’ve already been through for that one and yes, they’ll probably be back yet again before all is said and done. And you know why? Because people keep going. Tickets for this show are $18.50 in advance.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Ecce Homo”

Australia’s Presets are coming back to town behind last year’s Pacifica with a date at The Danforth Music Hall on May 10, tickets $25 plus attendant fees.

Video: The Presets – “Promises”

A PSA that the Marina & The Diamonds/Charli XCX show originally scheduled for May 23 at the Sound Academy has been moved to Echo Beach, a development that will probably be welcomed by everyone unless it rains, in which case it will be cursed. Noisey talks to Charli XCX about her debut album True Romance, due out April 15, and Consequence Of Sound has a stream of one of the new songs off of it.

Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”
Stream: Charli XCX – “What I Like”

British rockers The Boxer Rebellion have announced a North American tour in support of their new album Promises, out May 14, and will be at The Opera House in Toronto on May 24, tickets $18.50. They talked to Billboard about what to expect from the new album.

MP3: The Boxer Rebellion – “No Harm”
Video: The Boxer Rebellion – “Diamonds”

With their new album Ultramarine ready for an April 16 release, Young Galaxy have made a May 31 date at Lee’s Palace to celebrate its release, tickets $15. The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with the band.

Stream: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

Marking the physical release of last Fall’s Heavyweight EP, Rachael Yamagata will be in town at The Mod Club on June 4 as part of her Dealbreaker Tour, tickets $16.50 in advance.

Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Even If I Don’t”

Perhaps realizing that the royalties from the Veronica Mars movie won’t start rolling in for a while, The Dandy Warhols have announced a lace anniversary tour for the only record of theirs anyone ever really cared about and will play Thirteen Tales Of Urban Bohemia in its entirety at The Phoenix on June 5, tickets $32.50.

Video: The Dandy Warhols – “Bohemian Like You”

Rancid will headline the Avenues and Alleways Fest at Echo Beach on June 12, featuring all manner of Rancid-approved punk bands. Tickets for that are $35 in advance.

Video: Rancid – “Ruby Soho”

British soul-funk saviours The Heavy have made a return engagement in support of last year’s The Glorious Dead; they’ll be at The Phoenix on June 19, tickets $17.50.

Video: The Heavy – “What Makes A Good Man”

Barely making himself scarce after being pretty much everywhere during Canadian Musicfest, Mac DeMarco will be at The Hoxton on June 30, tickets $14.

MP3: Mac DeMarco – “Freaking Out The Neighbourhood”

A second official batch of NXNE acts was announced last week, with notable names including punk vets Social Distortion, who will be headlining the free Yonge-Dundas Square show on the Thursday night, confirmation of Big Boi doing the same on the Sunday, Coeur de Pirate making her first appearance post-motherhood, and Fucked Up doing their thing at The Horseshoe on the Saturday night. Also likely to be a hot ticket is Montreal’s Majical Cloudz, recently signed to Matador for the May 21 release of Impersonator. In addition to the NXNE appearance, he/they’ll be at The Great Hall on May 13 supporting Youth Lagoon. And if you’re interested in all the artists officially announced for NXNE thus far, hit the artists page.

MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”
MP3: Majical Cloudz – “Turns Turns Turns”

Some more additions to Toronto Urban Roots Fest of a decidedly domestic nature; joining a host of others at Garrison Common from July 4 to 7 will be Toronto twang-duo Whitehorse and ascendant Vancouver singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas. The former is playing on the Sunday, July 7, the latter on the Saturday, July 6.

Video: Whitehorse – “Achilles’ Desire”
Video: Hannah Georgas – “Somebody”

Noel Gallagher-approved, One Direction-baiting, Olympic-soundtracking, chart-topping English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg will make his Toronto debut at The Mod Club on August 3, tickets $15.

Video: Jake Bugg – “Lightning Bolt”