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Posts Tagged ‘TOY’

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.

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Last Christmas

Summer Camp wish you a very Moshi Moshi Christmas

Photo By Ollie EvansOllie EvansBecause apparently there is a law of some sort that each year, at least one indie band must add another version of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” to the already-massive pile of indie versions of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”; this year it’s Summer Camp, though at least this follows in their own tradition of releasing a Christmas covers – back in 2010, they left their version of The Waitresses’ contemporary classic “Christmas Wrapping” under the tree and last year, offered what I will take Consequence Of Sound’s word was a Mariah Carey/Paul McCartney hybrid of some sort.

The track appears on a free downloadable EP of holiday tunes from their label Moshi Moshi which you can get for the price of a Facebook like or stream below and amongst the other artists offering contributions for your holiday party mix are Slow Club with their version – another one of many – of Phil Spector’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, which they originally released on their 2009 EP Christmas, Thanks For Nothing.

Stream: Summer Camp – “Last Christmas”
MP3: Summer Camp – “Christmas Wrapping”
Stream: Summer Camp – “All I Wonderful Christmas Is You”
Stream: A Christmas Gift For You From Moshi Moshi Records

The Wall Street Journal has premiered another of José González’s songs from the soundtrack of Secret Life Of Walter Mitty while Rolling Stone shows off one of his other contributions with Junip. It opens Christmas Day.

Stream: José González – “#9 Dream”
Stream: Junip – “Far Away”

The Fly has an interview with Tom Dougall of TOY, who will be in town at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Shout4Music has a video session with Lanterns On The Lake. Their new album Until The Colours Run gets a North American release on January 14 and they’ll be The Drake Underground on February 1.

Noisey has premiered the new stream from Bombay Bicycle Club, taken from their forthcoming album So Long, See You Tomorrow. It’s out February 3.

Stream: Bombay Bicycle Club – “It’s Alright Now”

Arthur Beatrice have released a stream of another song from their debut album Working Out, which while out on February 3 in the UK will not get a domestic North American release until March 4.

Stream: Arthur Beatrice – “Midland”

As they promised following the release of 2009’s Kingdom Of Rust and the 2010 best-of compilation The Places Between, Doves have been on a proper hiatus but frontman Jimi Goodwin has finally surfaced with some solo work. Under The Radar reports that his first solo record Odludek will be coming out next year on March 24, and have a stream of the decidedly strummily acoustic first single from it.

Stream: Jimi Goodwin – “Oh! Whisky”

English singer-songwriter Sam Smith – who I’m led to believe is being tipped to be one of the big things of 2014 – has put together a North American tour to capitalize and build on this buzz before dropping his debut album next Summer. He’ll be at The Mod Club on March 28.

Video: Sam Smith – “Lay Me Down”

Primal Scream have announced a North American tour behind their latest album, More Light. They’ll be at The Danforth Music Hall on May 16.

Video: Primal Scream – “2013”

Wild Beasts talk to DIY about their forthcoming new album, which little is known about except that it exists and will be out early in the new year.

Vogue and Under The Radar talk to Anna Calvi, who has put together a mixtape for Dummy which features, amongst other things, a brand new track from Charlotte Hatherley’s Sylver Tongue project. Her debut album is done and mixed and release information will be forthcoming.

DIY, BBC, and Digital Spy have interviews with Charli XCX, who is already working on her second album, targeted for release some time next year.

The Toronto Sun chats with Icona Pop

Exclaim has an interview with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, who’s made a new track that didn’t make it onto Cupid Deluxe available to stream.

Stream: Blood Orange – “West Drive” (Profit Vocal dub 2)

The Alternate Side has a session with Two Door Cinema Club.

Daytrotter welcomes The Joy Formidable to their studio for a session.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Deep Wound

Swervedriver veer back into fast lane with new album

Photo by Gaz FailGaz FailFor a band that’s so intrinsically connected to the idea of powerful cars barrelling down the highway, Oxford’s Swervedriver have taken a pretty leisurely path since they reunited in 2008, touring fairly regularly behind old material but seeming to focus their creative energies on non-Swervies work; frontman Adam Franklin releasing three full-length albums with his Bolts Of Melody solo project including this year’s Black Horses, as well as one with Magnetic Morning, his project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino. And while Toshack Highway hasn’t released anything since 2006, don’t discount Franklin returning to the project at some point in the future.

But for all of those releases’ merits, they’ve not been Swervedriver so it’s pretty exciting news that 2014 will finally see the band putting into gear with the release of a new Swervedriver album, their first since 1998’s 99th Dream. Now reunion albums are rightly regarded with suspicion – sometimes they’re great, a la My Bloody Valentine, but usually they’re passable at best and embarrassing at worst, but from just-released the first single – which they’re streaming along with the alternate version b-side, remixed by Ride’s Mark Gardener – their ability to meld great guitar riffs with catchy melodies remains wholly intact, and excitingly reminiscent of Raise, their 22-year old debut; it’s like dream-pop where the dream is of a muscle car going full tilt down the open road. Bring it.

The Feedback Society has an interview with Adam Franklin about both the new Bolts Of Melody record and the return of Swervedriver. And if you’re new to the band or haven’t been paying attention, a slew of live rarities – including complete on-stage versions of their first four albums – are available to download, gratis. Update: And now there’s a video.

Stream: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”
Stream: Swervedriver – “Dub Wound”
Video: Swervedriver – “Deep Wound”

DIY talks to TOY about their new album Join The Dots, the title track of which they play in session for The Guardian. The album is out this week and they’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14.

The Fly corners Cate Le Bon to play a video session for them. She’ll be at The Drake Underground on January 21.

Maxïmo Park have rolled out a second video from their new album Too Much Information, out February 3.

Video: Maxïmo Park – “Leave This Island”

The Fly has details on the new album from Bombay Bicycle Club, which will be called So Long, See You Tomorrow and be out in the UK on February 3.

Rolling Stone has premiered the new video from Fanfarlo, taken from their forthcoming album Let’s Go Extinct, coming out February 11.

Video: Fanfarlo – “Landlocked”

London’s Let’s Wrestle return with their third album – a self-titled effort – on February 11 and they’ve permiered the first video from it at Noisey.

Video: Let’s Wrestle – “Codeine and Marshmallows”

Even though his latest album was the rather definitively-titled full-band affair Electric, It’ll be Richard Thompson solo and acoustic at Koerner Hall on March 6, just as when he dazzled there in September 2011. This time, though, he’ll have an opener with him and that’s none other than his son, Teddy Thompson.

Stream: Richard Thompson – “Good Things Happen To Bad People”

Intelligent Life hangs out with Guy Garvey of Elbow; their new album Carry Her Carry Me is out March 10.

What do you do if you’re releasing a single that appears in two different versions on your two current albums, one live and one studio? if you’re Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the albums are Live At KCRW and Push The Sky Away, you record a third version. And then you premiere it at Rolling Stone. Cave and company are at The Sony Centre on July 31.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”

DIY have premiered a stream from Kate Nash’s new holiday EP Have Faith This Christmas. You probably know the song.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Silent Night”

Laura Groves has a new video for a Paul McCartney cover contributed to the Pun For Cover cover album; check it out via DIY.

Video: Laura Groves – “Waterfalls”

The Toronto Sun has an interview with and Stereogum a streaming b-side from Arctic Monkeys.

Stream: Arctic Monkeys – “You’re So Dark”

David Bowie has released another video from the bonus material on The Next Day Extra, though not for one of the new songs but again a remix – or an edit of a remix, to be precise, whatever that means.

Video: David Bowie – “I’d Rather Be High” Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit)

Rolling Stone asks Noel Gallagher how his year was. He answers as only Noel Gallagher can.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Frozen Atmosphere

‘Tis the season for TOY(s), and streams thereof

Photo By Steve GullickSteve GullickOkay, since it’s now December I can grudgingly accept that it’s the holiday season and, helping that mental shift along are London’s TOY. I had thought it odd that the band, who built up a good bit of attention with last year’s self-titled debut and its mandate of filling deep, Kraut-y grooves with space-psych songcraft, had opted to release their second album Join The Dots on the exceedingly late date of December 9. Most music writers are in full retrospective mode by this point in the year and incapable of processing anything new, and it effectively eliminated them from any year-end list consideration.

But it’s entirely possible the band doesn’t care, and just want to get the record out into the world. Which is great for those who’ve been waiting to hear it, but I do hope it doesn’t end up getting lost in the shuffle because after a few initial listens, it certainly feels a lot better than their first one. The debut had a lot of pieces I liked but didn’t put them together in an engrossing-enough fashion to win me over the way it did many, but this one is bigger, deeper, broader, and just does it.

But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian has an advance stream of the record before it comes out next week, and their North American tour announced last week will bring them to Toronto for a show at The Horseshoe on January 14.

Stream: TOY / Join The Dots

Kate Nash has a new Christmas EP out called Have Faith This Christmas and is streaming one of the tracks from it to get you in the holiday spirit.

Stream: Kate Nash – “Faith”

Rolling Stone talks to Matt Bellamy of Muse about making the Live At Rome Olympic Stadium DVD/CD set coming out this week.

Video: Muse – “Madness” (live at Rome Olympic Stadium)

Spin has premiered a new video from Lanterns On The Lake’s second album Until The Colours Run, which gets a North American release on January 14 and brings them to The Drake Underground on February 1.

Video: Lanterns On The Lake – “Buffalo Days”

Yuck takes Clash through their second album Glow and Behold, track-by-track. They’re in town at The Garrison on January 17.

Noisey have premiered the new video and second sample of Mogwai’s forthcoming Rave Tapes. It’s out January 21 and they’ll be on tour for it at The Danforth Music Hall on May 13.

Video: Mogwai – “The Lord Is Out Of Control”

Paste gets to know Temples, whose debut Sun Structures is out February 11.

NME has details on the new album from Band Of Skulls, entitled Himalayan and due out March 31. They’ve just released a first video from the record.

Video: Band Of Skulls – “Asleep At The Wheel”

Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes are currently working on a new record – which Live4Ever reports will be self-titled and out in March – but have taken the time to stream a new song for their fans via their website.

Stream: Blood Red Shoes – “The Perfect Mess”

The Guardian profiles one of 2013’s new band success stories, London Grammar. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Stereogum have got the new video from Primal Scream’s latest album More Light.

Video: Primal Scream – “Goodbye Johnny”

The Guardian gets to know Charli XCX.

Everything Is Chemical has an interview with Black Hearted Brother, and gets Neil Halstead to pin the chances of a Slowdive reunion at a qualified “improbable”.

TYCI talks to Katie Harkin of Sky Larkin.

And finally, a moment for Andrew Youssef, Los Angeles-based music photographer for Stereogum and OC Weekly, who succumbed to colon cancer this weekend. He documented his fight in the “Last Shot” column at OC Weekly, and it was as inspiring as it was saddening to read as he kept going to shows and shooting, refusing to let the cancer get the better of him until it did. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging with Andrew back in 2010 at Matador at 21 in Las Vegas, and chatting with him via Twitter over the past few years and was pleased to learn he’d grown up – for a few years, at least – in Toronto, not far from where I did (though a few years apart). I wish I’d been able to know him better and my condolences to those who did and will miss him. OC Weekly has a fine memoriam for their photographer, as well as a slideshow of his best work. Godspeed, Andrew.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

I Wanna Be Adored

Review of The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone

Photo By Shane MeadowsShane MeadowsI didn’t respond terribly enthusiastically when The Stone Roses announced their equally inevitable and improbable reunion in October 2011, my fixation on their reputation as a patchy live band and general cynicism about its prospects of lasting long enough to come to North America overriding any fanboy enthusiasm about maybe getting to see the creators of one of the greatest albums of the past quarter-century in the flesh. And indeed, though the reunion has lasted long enough to traverse the globe and reported new material earmarked for a third album, they’ve still not come any closer to Toronto than Indio, California so short of getting on a plane to some far-flung destination to see them, the second coming of The Stone Roses has remained something of an abstraction.

But a viewing of Made Of Stone, the film by Shane Meadows about the first days of their reunion, make me rather regret that. It’s not really accurate to call it either a documentary or a concert film, because there’s little to no talking head footage or insights into the hows or whys of the reunion – and if there was, it’d probably be incomprehensible without subtitles – and there’s not enough complete live performances to qualify it as the latter.

Instead, it captures Meadows’ perspective as a mega-fan with a video camera invited into follow the band around from their initial press conference confirming the reunion, through their secret rehearsal sessions and their first secret show at Parr Hall in Warrington, England, their European tour, and culminating in their homecoming shows at Heaton Park in Manchester, along with some historical footage. And while frustrating for those looking for inside dirt – though you do get the skinny on Reni’s walking out on the Amsterdam show that many feared was the derailing of the reunion before it’d barely begun – it more than captures the excitement of it all, both within the band and amongst their fans. The scenes of those to get tickets for that first secret show after it was announced that morning are genuinely heart-warming.

And while I’m sure the business end of things was key to getting the band back together, the excitement within The Stone Roses about playing together again is tangible. Okay, John Squire is as stoic as he probably ever was, but Mani and Reni and Ian Brown all seem positively giddy about it. And if there was any question if they still clicked musically, the rehearsal run through of “Waterfall” answers it definitively and unequivocally. Reni’s backing vocals are divine and even Brown stays remarkably in key; he’s not quite as good in the actual live performances where he resorts to shouting, but given the right circumstances – or maybe just some really good monitors – he’s still got it.

For all the things that Made Of Stone isn’t, what matters most is what it is and that’s a love letter to the band from a fan that gets as much love in return. A must-see for fans of the Roses, even those skeptical about the reunion. I’m hoping that 2014 is the year that the Roses finally makes proper landfall in North America, but if not… maybe I’ll get on a plane.

The DVD got a North American release this week. Shane Meadows penned a piece at The Huffington Post about what it meant to be able to make this film.

Trailer: The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone
Video: The Stone Roses – “Waterfall” (from Made Of Stone)

Following in the well-received footsteps of their UK labelmates Temples, London psych-kraut outfit TOY will be undertaking a North American tour behind their second album Join The Dots, due out December 9. They’ll be at The Horseshoe on January 14, tickets a most post-holiday friendly $11.50.

Video: TOY – “Join The Dots”

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Lanterns On The Lake, whose Until The Colours Run gets a North American release on January 14. They’re at The Drake Underground on February 1.

Peggy Sue have released a new video from their forthcoming album Choir Of Echoes, due out January 28.

Video: Peggy Sue – “Idle”

Maxïmo Park have announced details of the deluxe version of their new album Too Much Information, due out February 3. It will include a bonus disc including a handful of cover versions, including a Leonard Cohen song they’ve made available to stream. DIY has a quick chat with the band about making the new record.

Stream: Maxïmo Park – “Lover Lover Lover”

The Bernard Butler-powered Trans have released a new video from their debut Red EP – making that a 1:1 clip-to-song ratio – and have targeted a February release for their second volume.

Video: Trans – “Dancing Shoes”

London Grammar have released a new video from their debut, If You Wait for their cover of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”. They’re at The Phoenix on April 7.

Video: London Grammar – “Nightcall”

Tim Burgess of Charlatans tells BBC that their new album will feature contributions from their late drummer Jon Brookes, who passed away back in August. The record is due out in the new year.
Camera Obscura are featured in the latest 4AD Session videos set.

eMusic gets some recommended listening suggestions from Black Hearted Brother.