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Posts Tagged ‘TV On The Radio’

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, September 3rd, 2013

Bracing For Sunday

While I was out… featuring Neko Case and things of an American nature

Photo By Frank YangEmily SchurSo yes, hi, I’m back. Flew in yesterday, have no idea what time it actually is or what time I think it is or what time I think it should be. But while Berlin and Stockholm were great, vacation is over and it’s time to unload the stuff I’ve been bookmarking but not posting in my absence. Most of it you’ve probably seen or heard already, but lemme get it out there anyways.

And why not start with Neko Case – her new record The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You is out as of today and her secret show at The Dakota Tavern last Tuesday was very much one of the things I’m sad about missing though make no mistake, I was still happier where I was. Anyways, the always-quotable Neko sounds off on all sorts of subjects – not just music – at The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Drowned In Sound, Consequence Of Sound, NPR (and another), Maclean’s, Salon, The Toronto Star and The Grid.

As has become their MO, Pixies have sneak-released a new EP which appears to be untitled but which will probably colloquially be called Indie Cindy after the track for which they’ve also released a video. So maybe it was the now-departed Kim Deal who was the hold-up in releasing new Pixies material all these years?

Video: Pixies – “Indie Cindy”

NPR is streaming the new Okkervil River record The Silver Gymnasium, out this week, and American Songwriter and Consequence Of Sound have conversations with Will Sheff about it. They play The Phoenix on September 28.

Stream: Okkervil River / The Silver Gymnasium

Vice, Sowetan, Elle, The Belfast Telegraph, and Irish Times talk to Janelle Monáe about her new album The Electric Lady, out September 10. She plays The Kool Haus on October 19.

Sebadoh are streaming another new song from Defend Yourself, coming out September 17. They play The Horseshoe on November 8.

Stream: Sebadoh – “State Of Mine”

Pitchfork has details on Bitter Rivals, the third album from Sleigh Bells, as well as dates for the accompanying North American tour. The record is out October 8 and they’re at The Phoenix on November 13 with Doldrums supporting.

Video: Sleigh Bells – “Bitter Rivals”

Los Angeles’ The Happy Hollows put on a great show when they were here for NXNE 2010, so word that they’re at The Silver Dollar on October 12 behind their new record Amethyst is not to be disregarded. Tickets for the show are a mere $8.50.

Stream: The Happy Hollows – “Endless”

Having gone without releasing new music in far too long, Dean Wareham has announced a new mini-album entitled Emancipated Hearts for October 15 release. You can stream the first song from it below and check out details at Pitchfork.

Stream: Dean Wareham – “Love Is Colder Than Death”

Brookyln’s The Men will release an acoustic 12″ EP entitled Campfire Songs on October 15, but don’t expect their October 20 show at The Horseshoe to be some cozy unplugged singalong. Unless it is.

Stream: The Men – “The Seeds” (acoustic)

Just here back in May, Laura Stevenson returns to The Drake on November 19 to support her new record, Wheel. Tickets are $13 in advance.

Stream: Laura Stevenson – “Slouch”

Having teased that they were working on multiple new records, Shearwater have announced the first of them. Fellow Travelers will be out November 26 and offers a novel spin on the covers record, with them reinterpreting songs by former tourmates whose ranks include St. Vincent, Coldplay, and Wye Oak. They’ve made a Xiu Xiu redo available for download, and Exclaim has full details.

MP3: Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley Oh!”

TV On The Radio haven’t revealed details of their next album but the have revealed a new video from it.

Video: TV On The Radio – “Million Miles”

Pitchfork has premiered the new video from The National, taken from this year’s Trouble Will Find Me.

Video: The National – “Graceless”

Yes I know I missed the first Replacements show in 22 years at last week’s Riot Fest, but at least I have these recordings from Mechanical Forest Sound and Bradley’s Almanac to fill me in on what I missed whilst filling my face with currywurst.

Tone Deaf talks to Calexico.

Sharon Van Etten premiered a new song by way of a video session at Pickathon; Spin has the clip.

And oh yeah, the blog turned 11 yesterday and for the first time in the past decade, I didn’t commemorate it with a post (though I did make a tweet). Last year’s decade-marking post still basically holds, and while I don’t know I’ve done a good enough job of slowing things down as much as I’d have thought, being able to take more than a week off as I just did and not freak the hell out seems like progress. So I’ll just say thanks for sticking around, and I’m still here, at least for now. Take that as you will, just not for granted.

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Anything We Want

Fiona Apple to do whatever she wants, including more touring

Photo By Dan MonickDan MonickFiona Apple did pretty much all anyone could have asked in 2012. Starting with a tense but triumphant comeback show at SXSW, she proceeded to release a stellar new record with The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do last June and toured reasonably extensively behind it, though by late Fall she was cancelling dates to tend to her ailing dog. If that was the end of the promotional cycle for The Idler Wheel and the beginning of another hiatus, then so be it. Her inclusion on the initial lineup for the 2013 edition Primavera Sound in Barcelona was an encouraging sign that she wasn’t done yet, but that didn’t last.

Then last week – more than a year after the first single and video from Idler Wheel was released – a new video emerged for the album’s closing track, directed by auteur and former partner Paul Thomas Anderson, and that was followed up earlier this week with the announcement of a new Fall tour. But not a conventional tour. For starters, Apple will be touring and performing with Los Angeles singer-songwriter Blake Mills, and as per the name of the tour – Anything We Want – the format of it promises to be free-form and unpredictable. One would assume that with the not-cheap ticket prices, they’re acknowledging that Apple’s exponentially-larger fanbase will make up the bulk of the audience and will be played to accordingly, but then again, maybe not. They don’t know, so how can we?

In any case, Toronto is probably lucky that the October 17 date at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre comes a couple weeks into the tour, so folks should have an idea of what to expect by that point. Of course, if they’ve already shelled out their $49.50 or $69.50 for a seat, it’s kind of academic. But still.

Video: Fiona Apple – “Hot Knife”

Portland’s Blitzen Trapper have announced details of the follow-up to 2011’s American Goldwing as well as accompanying tour dates. VII will be out on October 1 on their new home at Vagrant Records, and the accompanying tour hits Lee’s Palace a few days later on October 5, tickets $18.50. You can stream one of the new songs via Rolling Stone.

Stream: Blitzen Trapper – “Ever Loved Once”

Providence’s Deer Tick are also putting out a new record of their brand of Americana this Fall in the form of Negativity, due out September 24, and will also be hitting the road in support, kicking that tour off in Toronto at Lee’s Palace on October 10 – tickets for that are $22. They released a video for one of their new songs a couple weeks ago and are streaming another new tune via Rolling Stone.

Video: Deer Tick – “The Rock”
Stream: Deer Tick – “The Dream’s In The Ditch”

Pennsylvania psych-folkers Dr. Dog are also readying a new album for Fall release, with B-Room coming out October 1 – stream a new song below – and their touring itinerary in support of it runs pretty much the entire Fall, with the November 8 date at The Phoenix being one of the last. Tickets for that will be $22.

Stream: Dr. Dog – “The Truth”

Entertainment Weekly are streaming the whole of Explosions In The Sky’s soundtrack to the Prince Avalanche film ahead of its August 6 release date, just before the film opens on August 9. They play The Air Canada Centre on October 4, opening for Nine Inch Nails.

Stream: Explosions In The Sky w David Wingo / Prince Avalanche original motion picture soundtrack

Though you could be forgiven for assuming that we’d lost Tanya Donelly to the world of motherhood and domesticity – I certainly did – you would in fact be wrong. The former Belly/Breeder/Throwing Muse has been recording new music and will begin releasing it to the world in a series of monthly EP’s that she’s calling the Swan Song Series; the first volume will be available next Tuesday, August 6, via Bandcamp though those in the US with access to Pandora can apparently stream the songs in advance now. Lucky ducks.

The Justin Vernon-powered Volcano Choir have released a new video from their forthcoming Repave, which is out September 3 and brings them to The Phoenix on September 8.

Video: Volcano Choir – “Byegone”

Billboard talks to Neko Case about her forthcoming record The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, out September 3.

Stereogum chats with Lou Barlow about the return of Sebadoh, while The San Francisco Appeal talks to drummer Bob D’Amico and The San Francisco Bay Guardian to bassist Jason Lowenstein. They’ve released a stream of one of the new tracks and a video of another, both from Defend Yourself which comes out September 17.

Stream: Sebadoh – “I Will”
Video: Sebadoh – “All Kinds”

Pitchfork has some specifics about the new Cults record Static, which will be out October 15.

Trailer: Cults / Static

Rolling Stone has premiered the second video for the first new Pixies song in ages, because if any band has mastered the art of miking it, it’s Pixies. Trivia: that’s not actually Kim Deal on the recording, it’s her replacement Kim Shattuck.

Video: Pixies – “Bagboy” (version 2)

Huffington Post has premiered a stream of the first new TV On The Radio music since 2011’s Nine Types Of Light. No info on the new album, but this is a start.

Stream: TV On The Radio – “Mercy”

Chicago Grid has a feature story on Wilco (the business).

Beatroute and The Edmonton Journal chat with M Ward.

The Creator’s Project have posted their mini-documentary on The Postal Service’s 10th anniversary tour.

Consequence Of Sound talks to Superchunk and Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster about his recent commitment to sobriety.

Airship Daily and The Huffington Post have interviews with Stephin Merritt about his work with Future Bible Heroes.

NPR has a video session with Yo La Tengo.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Someone Is Waiting

Because there is a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, I don’t even need to try today.

Photo By Will WestbrookWill WestbrookGuys, in case it wasn’t obvious, running a music blog that tries to update daily is hard work. So when something comes down the wire like, oh, a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion, it’s not the sort of low-hanging fruit one passes up, even if everyone and their mother is reporting it. And so even though you’ve surely already heard, Jeff Mangum – having confirmed via his 2011 solo tour that people do indeed still care about his old band – has gotten Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, and Jeremy Barnes to reform the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea lineup and commit to tour dates this Fall.

Presently, those tour dates number only five – two predictably at the 40 Watt Club in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia, one reasonably in Asheville, North Carolina, and two more bizarrely in Tokyo and Taipei. More will surely follow – one doesn’t open the door to something of this magnitude to just immediately shut it – but certainly not before those Athens dates in late October. And might this be paving the way for some new recordings…? Hey, one internet-breaking announcement at a time, alright?

MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Holland 1945″
MP3: Neutral Milk Hotel – “Song Against Sex”

PopMatters talks to Tobin Sprout of Guided By Voices about their fourth post-reunion full-length English Little League, out as of today.

She & Him have let NPR stream their new album, the cryptically-titled Volume 3, a week before it comes out on May 7. They kick off the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Commons on July 4.

Stream: She & Him / Volume 3

Spinner has a feature interview with Charles Bradley, who leads his Extraordinaires into The Phoenix on May 11.

Consequence Of Sound has details on a new Wild Nothing EP entitled Empty Estate due out May 14, a video from which has been made and released into the wild.

Video: Wild Nothing – “A Dancing Shell”

Spinner talks to the Berninger family about the Mistaken For Strangers documentary about The National, which features and was directed by brothers Matt and Tom. The new National album Trouble Will Find Me is out May 21 and they play Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE on June 14.

Though he’s mainly focusing on his new record The Low Highway, as in this interview with Spinner, Steve Earle talks to Billboard about revisiting his past with the release of a box set collecting Train A Comin’, I Feel Alright, and El Corazon – the albums that got me obsessed with Earle in the first place – as well as a live album in Live at the Polk Theater and a live DVD in To Hell and Back, circa 1995 and 1996 respectively. The five-disc Steve Earle: The Warner Bros. Years set will be out June 25 and you can stream one of the Polk Theatre tracks below.

Stream: Steve Earle – “The Devil’s Right Hand”

The Fly has a feature interview with Parquet Courts, coming to town for a gig at The Horseshoe on July 17.

Of Montreal took to Kevin Barnes’ Tumblr to announce the completion of their new album Lousy With Sylvainbriar, scheduled for release this Fall.

Janelle Monáe talks fashion with MTV Hive. Her new album The Electric Lady is due out sometime this year.

In conversation with Spin, TV On The Radio reveal they’re working on a new album and it won’t be for Interscope.

NPR has a video stream of The Flaming Lips performing Yoshimi live, in its entirety, back at SXSW in March.

Yours Truly has a video session with Caitlin Rose.

The Black Angels stop in at The Alternate Side for a video session and interview.

NPR chats with Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Nine Lives

Music blog turns nine, fails to come up with any clever theme that involves turning nine

Here we are, another September 2, another year, another “oh my god am I still doing this” post. As far at themes go, I was torn between the good ol’ Eveready cat logo or some of Gustave Doré’s illustrations from the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno – but I’ve gotten some grief lately over being a bit of a gloomy gus so I went with the cartoon kitty. And the “nine lives” bit? Maybe, but I’m certainly not on number one.

So yes, still here, doing what I’m doing while noting that the landscape of things continues to change around me and the traditional-form blog, such as this one here, are becoming increasingly archaic. That’s cool with me; I can appreciate the vintage vibe, yo. And as I can feel a pointless ramble coming on, I will check myself and simply say that I have now been doing this for a quarter of my life and can’t remember not doing it… so for reading and validating that effort, I thank you. That’s about all I’ve got to say for this annual state-of-the-whatever post. Kind of weak, but don’t worry – I’ve already got next year’s decade post a-brewing. It’ll be a doozie.

Did you know the traditional ninth anniversary gift is pottery and the modern ninth anniversary gift is leather? Me neither. So what else we got?

The Independent has an interview with Emma-Lee Moss of Emmy The Great.

NOW previews tonight’s Male Bonding show at The Horseshoe by talking with the band about their just-released second album Endless Now. The Boston Globe and I Like Music also have interviews.

The Guardian has a feature profile on Laura Marling, whose third album A Creature I Don’t Know is out on September 13. She is at The Great Hall on September 23.

Spin has posted up a video session with Annie Clark of St. Vincent, whose latest Strange Mercy arrives September 13.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews the members of Olivia Tremor Control, whose reunion tour hits Lee’s Palace on September 16.

Veronica Falls have released a new video from their self-titled debut, due out September 20. They’re at The Mod Club opening up for The Drums on October 1. And speaking of The Drums, they’ve released the second video in their Visiomento series promoting Portamento, out September 13.

Video: Veronica Falls – “Bad Feeling”

Spinner and The Irish Independent talk to Yuck, who will be at The Horseshoe on September 24.

Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that the principals of New Order have put aside their seething hatred of one another enough to agree to release some outtakes from their last studio album, 2005’s Waiting For The Sirens’ Call though they’re still debating the exact format of the release. Live4Ever has an interview with Peter Hook, who brings his new outfit The Light playing material from his old outfit Joy Division to town for a show at The Phoenix on September 24.

Video: New Order – “Jetstream”

Rolling Stone declares Dum Dum Girls a “band to watch”, just in time for the September 27 release of Only In Dreams. They’re at Lee’s Palace on October 16 and if you missed it earlier this week – I added it to a post a little late – a second superb MP3 from the album has been made available to download.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”

It won’t be here in time for his September 30 show at The Phoenix, but James Blake has announced the release of a new six-track EP entitled Enough Thunder for October 10; details at The Independent.

Blurt has a feature interview with Explosions In The Sky, in town at The Sound Academy on October 7.

Pitchfork reports that the release date for Bjork’s new album Biophilia has been pushed back from September 27 to October 11.

San Francisco psych-rockers Thee Oh Sees have made a date at The Horseshoe for October 21 in support of this Summer’s Castlemania, though Prefix reports they’ve already got another album ready to go in Carrion Crawler/The Dream, due out November 15.

MP3: Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed”

I talked last week about how much I was looking forward to Welcome To Condale, the debut album from Summer Camp; well to go along with a brand-new website, the duo have confirmed that the album will have a North American release one week after the UK release on November 8.

The Line Of Best Fit reports that Los Campesinos! will release their fourth album, entitled Hello Sadness, on November 15. And while that’s good news for fans, there’s also some bad news as it was announced via blog that violinist Harriet Campesinos! would be following in keyboardist Aleksandra’s two-year old footsteps and leave the band in favour of university and re-assuming her old surname. Perhaps that’s the sadness the album’s title is referring to?

NPR has a World Cafe session with Anna Calvi. It’s amazing how small her speaking voice is, compared to how massive her singing voice is. Whew. She will be at Lee’s Palace on December 8.

TV On The Radio have a new video from Nine Types Of Light

Video: TV On The Radio – “Second Song”

Also with a new clip are White Lies, from Ritual.

Video: White Lies – “The Power & The Glory”

American Songwriter rounds up some of the releases that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s birth next year, including but certainly not limited to a Wilco/Billy Bragg Mermaid Avenue box set.