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Posts Tagged ‘Unknown Mortal Orchestra’

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Axis

Pet Shop Boys release new album, tour west (life is peaceful there)

Photo By John WrightJohn WrightThe last time that Pet Shop Boys were in town, it was for V Fest 2009 and while I was excited for their performance, it was more because I wanted to see their audience intersect with the Nine Inch Nails fans who were there to see Trent and company, who were playing immediately afterwards, than out of any real sort of fandom. Their show, however, blew me away with its technicolour visuals, elaborate choreography, and top-notch pop songcraft that they were easily the highlight of the weekend and, having since gotten to know their discography much better, I’ve been patiently waiting for them to return.

It didn’t happen for last year’s electro-orchestric Elysium, but apparently the duo decided to head back into the studio rather than stay on the road and record their just-announced new dance-centric album Electric, due out July 15, behind which they WILL be touring North America. Slicing Up Eyeballs has their full, worldwide, 2013 itinerary but Toronto can circle September 25 on their calendars as the date messrs Tennant and Lowe will be at The Sony Centre For The Performing ARts. Tickets will run $49.50, $69.50, or $99.50 and go on sale this Friday, May 3, at 10AM.

Stereogum has an interview with the band about the new record, and they’ve released a video for the album’s opening track (though it’s not an official single).

Video: Pet Shop Boys – “Axis”

Lovelife – whom you may remember in a previous incarnation as Brit-rock also-rans Brother/Viva Brother though they’d prefer you didn’t – will bring their new synth-powered sound to The Mod Club on May 13, tickets $16. They’re interviewed by Noisey and will release the Stateless EP on June 11.

Stream: Lovelife – “Dying To Start Again”

Under The Radar has the first North American dates in support of Laura Marling’s new album Once I Was An Eagle, coming May 28. She’ll be in Toronto on May 25 at 99 Sudbury, which is indeed a venue.

MP3: Laura Marling – “Sophia”

With their second album Limits Of Desire set for a May 14 release, Brooklyn electro-pop purveyors Small Black will be at Wrongbar on May 31, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Small Black – “Free At Dawn”
Video: Small Black – “Free At Dawn”

The Uncluded may not have much name recognition but their component parts of Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson rather do. They’ve got a show at The Black Box Theatre in The Great Hall on June 2, tickets $20, as part of a tour in support of their debut Hokey Fright which comes out May 7 but is streaming now at The Current.

Video: The Uncluded – “Delicate Cycle”
Stream: The Uncluded / Hokey Fright

Alaska’s Portugal. The Man are readying a new album in Evil Friends for June 4 and will be at The Phoenix shortly thereafter – June 11 – to promote it; tickets for the show are $18.50 in advance. Jambands.com has an interview and The Fader has premiered a video from the new record.

Video: Portugal. The Man – “Purple Yellow Red & Blue”

Montreal’s Braids talk to Exclaim about their new, more electronic direction which will be previewed on the “In Kinds/Amends” 12″ when it comes out June 11 as prep for the release of their second full-length album in the Fall. They’re streaming one of the new tracks and will be playing NXNE on June 13.

Stream: Braids – “Amends”

Oakland’s Soft Moon have also been confirmed for NXNE; their showcase will be at The Garrison on June 14. Their last release was 2012’s Zeros.

MP3: The Soft Moon – “Breathe The Fire”

Florida’s garage-pop-making Beach Day are another NXNE confirmation, previewing the June 18 release of their full-length debut Trip Track Attack with festival appearances on June 14 and 15.

Video: Beach Day – “Beach Day”

Ireland’s Villagers will also be NXNE-ing it up behind their new record {Awayland}, anchoring the June 15 lineup at The Great Hall.

Video: Villagers – “Passing A Message”

San Diego’s Crocodiles will be supporting Japandroids at Adelaide Hall on June 17, just in case you needed a little more rock in the linuep; presumably they’ll be previewing material from the follow-up to last year’s Endless Flowers. Tickets for that are $25.

MP3: Crocodiles – “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)”

It might be the Toronto Jazz Festival, but things will get Motown-awesome on June 21 when Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas play Nathan Phillips Square – for free. You won’t find a better legend-to-dollar value than that.

Video: Smokey Robinson – “Tracks Of My Tears”
Video: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – “Nowhere To Run”

Australian up-and-comers Atlas Genius have put their geographic know-how to work and booked a North American tour behind their debut When It Was Now; they’ll be at The Opera House on June 23. The Daily Cougar and Tonedeaf have interview with the band.

Video: Atlas Genius – “Centered On You”

Though quiet for the last few years, Atlanta’s Snowden are back with a new album – their first in seven years – in No One In Control coming out May 14 and an accompanying tour which brings them to The Drake Underground on June 25.

Stream: Snowden – “So Red”
Stream: Snowden – “The Beat Comes”

Indiana’s not especially southern, but Houndmouth have got some pretty convincing twang to them; with their debut From The Hills Below The City coming June 4, they’ll be swinging through town a couple times shortly thereafter – on June 20 supporting Alabama Shakes at Echo Beach, and just a week later for a headlining show at The Garrison on June 28. Their session for The AV Club Undercover is also now up, featuring their take on Billy Bragg, Wilco, and Woody Guthrie.

Video: Houndmouth – “On The Road”
Video: Houndmouth – “Penitentiary”

California Wives – who are not, in fact, wives from California but indie rocker types from Chicago – will bring their carnival of lies and deception to The Drake on June 30, tickets $12. Their debut Art History came out last year.

MP3: California Wives – “Blood Red Youth”
MP3: California Wives – “Purple”

Cayucas, on the other hand, do hail from California – Santa Monica to be precise – but their hearts lie in New York, specifically Brooklyn or wherever Vampire Weekend are hanging out. Their debut Bigfoot just came out – you can stream it at Stereogum – and their tour itinerary brings them to The Drake on July 1.

MP3: Cayucas – “East Coast Girl”
Stream: Cayucas / Bigfoot

With their debut Tradition Ritual Habit finally out, Vancouver’s Belle Game will come east for some shows including a free show at Harbourfront Centre on July 12, part of the Soundclash festival thing that Born Ruffians are also playing. Green Couch Sessions have also posted a video session with the band and The Georgia Straight an interview.

MP3: The Belle Game – “Blame Fiction”

Chicago soul saviours JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound are back for a gig at the Horseshoe on July 12 in support of their new album Howl, out May 21. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, and MTV Hive has a quick band chat as well as a stream of a new song.

Stream: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound – “Howl”
Stream: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound – “Rouse Yourself”

Cleveland punk rock pioneers Pere Ubu will be at Lee’s Palace on September 18 behind their new album Lady From Shanghai, released back in January. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance.

MP3: Pere Ubu – “Free White”

Though just here in March, New Zealand/American psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be at Lee’s Palace on October 16 as part of a tour still in support of II. So if you’re into making plans half a year off, tickets are $15 in advance.

MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “So Good At Being In Trouble”

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

CONTEST – Unknown Mortal Orchestra/Foxygen/Wampire v. Night Beds/Indians – March 4, 2013

Photo By Neil KrugNeil KrugOn any given night, in this great city of Toronto, you’ve got no shortage of entertainment options vying for your evenings and dollars, but sometimes there occurs a confluence that simultaneously reminds you of how lucky we are as well as how unfair the universe can be. Case in point, this coming March 4, when the equivalent of a Pitchfork Festival sidestage will descend on Parkdale across two venues, and while you can try to club-hop, realistic logistics will probably force you to make some hard choices.

Over at Wrongbar, you’ve got: Kiwi-American acid-pop outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra, touring behind their new album II; Los Angeles psych-folk duo Foxygen, whose debut We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic is drawing raves; and Portland’s electro-pop duo Wampire, readying their debut Curiosity for release in May.

And just east, across the great Dufferin divide, The Drake Underground hosts the Nashville-based timeless Americana of Night Beds and their debut Country Sleep, and all the way from Copenhagen, Søen Løkke Juul – aka Indians – and his debut album of atmospheric pop, Somewhere Else.

Tough decisions, yes, and I’m here to make those decisions easier/harder. Tickets for the UMO/Foxygen/Wampire show are $13.50 in advance and Night Beds/Indians goes for $12, but courtesy of Embrace I’ve got two pairs of passes to each to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with either “I want to see UMO” or “I want to see Night Beds” in the subject line and your full name in the body, as well as which of the two shows you’d prefer should you enter both. Which you can do if you like. Contest closes at midnight, February 27.

Austinist has an interview with UMO principal Ruban Nielson; NPR has a World Cafe session with Foxygen; The Guardian makes Wampire their New Band Of The Day; MTV Hive, Gigwise, and American Songwriter talk to Night Beds frontman Winston Yellen; and Indians are profiled by The San Francisco Examiner, The Georgia Straight, and MTV Hive.

MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Foxygen – “Waiting 4 U”
MP3: Night Beds – “Even If We Try”
MP3: Indians – “Cakelakers”
Stream: Wampire – “The Hearse”

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Statues

Old new Hüsker Dü for you

Photo By Mark PetersonMark PetersonIt’s not often you see the words “new” and “Hüsker Dü” together – unless they’re followed, perhaps, but the word “lawsuit” – but that’s what we’re getting as part of the salvo of limited edition releases for this year’s Record Store Day. Okay, it’s not like Bob Mould, Greg Norton, and Grant Hart have secretly buried their many hatchets to follow the lead of fellow Minneapolis legends The Replacements and recorded new material, but they – or those who operate on their behalf – have unearthed some of their very earliest recordings circa 1980, originally released as their first 7″ and decades out of print, and will release them as a limited edition double-7″ on April 20.

Rolling Stone is currently streaming one of the tracks – a Grant Hart vocal which predates their discovery of hardcore and/or methamphetamines, and a far cry from the fury captured on their 1982 debut album Land Speed Record. It’s not an essential document by any means, but one that’s a hell of a lot more interesting than the twice-the-price coloured vinyl edition of a current album you already own that makes up most of the RSD exclusives.

Stream: Hüsker Dü – “Statues”

Dinosaur Jr have rolled out a new video from last year’s I Bet On Sky. And yes, that is Henry Rollins.

Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Pierce The Morning Rain”

Bad Religion have a new album in True North, out today and streamable below, and not one but two local shows coming up in support. They’re at The Horseshoe on January 27 for a private performance to which you can win tickets from CFNY, and then they’re back on March 31 for a date at The Kool Haus as part of the North American tour. Rolling Stone and Billboard have interviews with Brett Gurewitz about the new record and CBC Music with Jay Bentley.

MP3: Bad Religion – “True North”
Stream: Bad Religion / True North

As widely reported last week, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have confirmed the April 16 release of their fourth album Mosquito. Karen O talks to Pitchfork about what to expect from the new record and Rolling Stone talks to the artist responsible for the rather polarizing album art about what he was thinking.

NPR has a stream of II, the new album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra which comes out February 5. They’ll be at Wrongbar on March 3 to play it for you live.

Stream: Unknown Mortal Orchestra / II

Brooklyn-based Here We Go Magic spin-off TEEN – all caps mandatory – will bring their 2012 debut In Limbo to The Drake Underground on February 15.

MP3: TEEN – “Electric”

Divine Fits have a new video from A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Video: Divine Fits – “My Love Is Real”

Today marks the release of Ra Ra Riot’s third album – the rather less orchestral and more electronic Beta Love – and it’s available to stream in whole via YouTube, and there’s features on the band at Spin and Magnet. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 6 and back in town June 8 as part of the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Fort York.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot / Beta Love

The National Post, Rolling Stone, Consequence Of Sound, CBC Music, and Interview all have feature interviews with Yo La Tengo.

Been wondering what Will Sheff has been up to? Presumably writing the next Okkervil River record, sure, but also establishing a new electronic-y side-project as Lovestreams. The first fruits of that labour is now available in both MP3 and video form.

MP3: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”
Video: Lovestreams – “Shock Corridor”

The 405 has an interview with Benjamin Gibbard and boy I bet they’re wishing they’d pressed a little harder about the possibility of a Postal Service reunion.

Of course, maybe they could have just done as Drowned In Sound did and just get Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello, and Jen Wood to provide an oral history of The Postal Service’s watershed indie-pop opus Give Up on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. It’s pretty much assured that the duo will be reconvening for some live dates this year and a deluxe edition of Give Up is en route but no one should be expecting new material. Of course, no one was expecting live dates either, so who knows. Considering his solo album was mostly old material, Ben may have some recent stuff he’s been looking to get off his chest by way of song. Update: The Give Up anniversary edition is out April 9 and has two unreleased songs on it along with other stuff.

The Quietus interviews John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Son Volt will release a new album entitled Honky Tonk on March 5. American Songwriter has details on the release, whose title is as much description of the contents as a name.

LA Music Blog, The Times-Picayune, Dallas Observer, and Blurt talk to Joey Burns of Calexico.

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

I Love You But You're Dead

Mark Eitzel at The Rivoli in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s less accurate to say that Mark Eitzel was/is/ever shall be the frontman for American Music Club than it is to simply say Mark Eitzel is American Music Club. Over both of the band’s incarnations – their original run from 1982 to 1994 and the reunion from 2004 to 2009 – Eitzel released solo records whose songbooks intersected liberally with AMC but roamed more musically, most curiously on The Ugly American, which saw him arranging old songs for traditional Greek instruments, and Candy Ass, which took him electronic.

His latest Don’t Be A Stranger isn’t one of those sidebar releases, being both his first record for Merge and first since the book was formally closed on American Music Club for the second and probably final time. It also provided occasion for Eitzel’s first visit to Toronto since leading AMC through an excellent but lightly-attended show in Spring 2008. Despite Stranger being a fully-produced affair, Eitzel was touring light – just himself and a piano player, the same setup I saw him with during SXSW 2011.

Given that he was performing to his own, appreciative fans rather than drive-by hipster festival-goers, Eitzel was in a decidedly better mood than that show. Even though the dour dimension gave that performance a memorable intensity, it was nice to have him be able to show off his more jovial side instead with his humour thankfully stayed on the right side of the self-deprecating/self-loathing line. The set list was impressively career-spanning, offering four selections from the new record amongst old AMC favourites like show opener, “What Holds The World Together” off of San Francisco, and “Apology For An Accident” and “Hollywood 4-5-92” from personal favourite Mercury, all dramatically rearranged for the cabaret show configuration but still just as powerful as in their rock band format, thanks in no small part to Eitzel’s massive and emotive vocals – the mic often seemed more stage prop than necessary sound reinforcement. He may have only gotten through a baker’s dozen worth of songs in the hour-fifteen show, but most were accompanied by anecdotes that offered illuminating insights into the song. It was amazing how many of Eitzel’s songs are actually literal rather than allegorical; aspiring songwriters could do far worse than to study his works to learn how to transform daily experiences into compelling lyrical works.

Eitzel had to take a mulligan on the encore after a monologue hilariously derailed things, but wrapped up strongly with “We All Have To Find Our Own Way Out” off of Stranger, and closing with “Chanel No. 5”, a song that’s so much an essential part of the AMC canon that I’m astonished it was only released as a b-side. Mark Eitzel doesn’t come through town very often – he’d do well to take the advice of this album’s title – but when he does, it’s always special.

Back To The World also has an excellent review of the show. The Plain Dealer and Columbus Alive have interviews with Eitzel.

Photos: Mark Eitzel @ The Rivoli – November 28, 2012
MP3: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You But You’re Dead”
MP3: American Music Club – “Only Love Can Set You Free”
MP3: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco”
Video: American Music Club – “Rise”
Video: American Music Club – “Wish The World Away”
Video: American Music Club – “Electric Light”

The new Memory Tapes album Grace/Confusion is available to stream in whole right now; it’s out on Tuesday.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Shelia”
Stream: Memory Tapes / Grace/Confusion

Pitchfork compiles an oral history of Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights, the deluxe edition of which is out this Tuesday.

Nuvo has an interview with Jason Lytle, who’s just released a new video from Dept. Of Disappearance. He’s at Massey Hall on December 5 opening up for Band Of Horses.

Video: Jason Lytle – “Somewhere There’s A Someone”

The Fader talks to Christopher Owens about the end of Girls. His solo record Lysandre is out January 15 and he plays The Mod Club on January 18.

Eater talks food with Yo La Tengo. Their new album Fade is out January 15 and they play The Phoenix on February 9.

Spin talks to Ra Ra Riot, whose new album Beta Love is out January 22 and who are at Lee’s Palace on March 6.

Local Natives have released a video from their next album Hummingbird, due out January 29. They play The Opera House on March 28 and talk to NME about what it was like to make the record with Aaron Dessner of The National.

Video: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Ameri-Kiwi psych-rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Los Angeles’ Foxygen are teaming up for a North American tour in support of their new albums – UMO’s II is out February 5 and Foxygen’s We Are The 21st Century Ambassarors Of Peace & Magic is out January 22. They’re at Wrongbar on March 4, tickets $13.50 in advance.

MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Foxygen – “Make It Known”

Jukebox The Ghost and Matt Pond are in town for a show at The Horseshoe on March 11. Jukebox released Safe Travels earlier this year and Pond has a new one in The Lives Inside The Lines Of Your Hand due out on February 15.

MP3: Matt Pond PA – “The Hollows”
Video: Jukebox The Ghost – “Don’t Let Me Fall Behind”

Low have announced details about their next album – The Invisible Way was produced by Jeff Tweedy and will be out on March 19. Check out the trailer below and inspect details – and also exchange your email for a live six-song set – over at Pitchfork.

Trailer: Low / The Invisible Way

Spinner talks to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

That song The National recorded for Boardwalk Empire last week is now available to download.

MP3: The National – “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Rolling Stone has premiered another James Franco-directed – and starring – video from R.E.M.’s final album Collapse Into Now, and if you prefer your Stipe & co a little more vintage, Slicing Up Eyeballs has video of a complete R.E.M. live show from Atlanta circa 1981 available to stream.

Video: R.E.M. – “That Someone Is You”

DIY chats with Sharon Van Etten about her exceptionally good year.

Under The Radar has an interview with Oliver Ackerman of A Place To Bury Strangers.

Nashville Scene and The Arizona Daily Wildcat talk to John Darnielle and Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats, respectively.

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I Am Haunted

Go to my co-presented CMJ show because, well, I can’t

Photo By Piper FergusonPiper FergusonI suspect most of your inboxes aren’t reminding you of it quite as insistently as mine is, but the fact is that the CMJ Music Marathon kicks off in New York next week. Retirement or no, heading down is always on the table because hey – week/end in New York that I can write off. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, that’s not happening this year because of work and other logistics, and it’s especially unfortunate because this year I’ve teamed up with the good folks at Hype Machine and some other blogger types from YVYNL, All Things Go, and No Fear Of Pop to put on a couple nights of free shows.

My night is Wednesday, October 17, at Brooklyn Bowl where you can, indeed, bowl as well as see live music – what will they think of next – and the impressively international bill stacks up as follows: New York’s own Virgins, who had no small amount of buzz circa their 2008 party-friendly self-titled debut and are looking to recapture that with a new lineup and a second album, due out in early 2013. Ameri-Kiwi psych-pop trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who’ve been turning heads whilst opening for Grizzly Bear on their Fall tour and have just announced they’ve signed to Jagjaguwar for the February 5 release of their second album II. From Los Angeles, The Neighbourhood do a kind of dark, neo-soul writ rock and have been making an impression with their debut EP …I’m Sorry. Copenhagen’s Indians, who recently found the perfect home for their dream-induced folk-pop with legendary label 4AD; their debut full-length is due out in 2013 and they’re opening up for Other Lives on tour this Fall – which is good, because it means I can catch them at The Horseshoe on November 23. And finally, there’s JJAMZ, the improbable West Coast electro-pop supergroup drawing DNA from Rilo Kiley, Phantom Planet, The Like, and, um, Maroon 5. Hey, it’s eclectic!

So if you’re going to be in New York next week – be it visiting or residing – do RSVP and show up, knock down some pins, cut a rug, whatever being in Williamsburg compels you to do. And if you do go, let me know how it is, yeah?

MP3: The Virgins – “Venus In Chains”
MP3: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “I’ll Come Back 4 U”
MP3: Indians – “I Am Haunted”
Video: The Neighbourhood – “Female Robbery”
Video: JJAMZ – “Heartbeat”

Closer to home, it really doesn’t seem like there’s been a time in the past few years when Ty Segall didn’t have an album coming out and/or a show coming up. His third record of 2012, Twins, just came out this week and even though he was just here at The Hoxton a few weeks ago, he’s already scheduled a return engagement – and this time the show will be Phoenix-sized. He’s back on February 6, tickets $16.50 in advance.

MP3: Ty Segall – “Don’t Talk To Me”
Video: Ty Segall – “The Hill”

Savoir Adore gets some blog love as BrooklynVegan has premiered a new video and My Old Kentucky Blog has a stream of their new album Our Nature, out next Tuesday. They’re at Rancho Relaxo tomorrow night.

MP3: Savoir Adore – “Sparrow”
MP3: Savoir Adore – “Dreamers”
Video: Savoir Adore – “Empire Of Light”
Stream: Savoir Adore / Our Nature

Spinner talks to Benjamin Gibbard about his solo debut Former Lives, out next Tuesday but available to stream in whole now. He’s at the Danforth Music Hall on Sunday, October 14.

MP3: Benjamin Gibbard – “Teardrop Windows”
Stream: Benjamin Gibbard / Former Lives

The Aquarian, amNY, and PopMatters talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats while The AV Club solicits a goth playlist and The Fader a reading list. The Mountain Goats are at The Phoenix next Saturday, October 20, and they’ve just released both a new video and download from Transcendental Youth.

MP3: The Mountain Goats – “Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1”
Video: The Mountain Goats – “Cry For Judas”

There’s been a flurry of Sharon Van Etten goodness over the last few days – a new video from Tramp, a Black Cab Session, and a stream of a duet with Rufus Wainwright taken from a forthcoming Starbucks-assembled holiday compilation called Holidays Rule, available where you buy coffee come October 30.

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Magic Chords”
Stream: Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Spin reports that Dinosaur Jr will release a vintage live recording on vinyl come November 19; Chocomel Daze (Live 1987) is available to preorder now and a sample from it is streamable below.

Stream: Dinosaur Jr – “The Lung” (live 1987)

DIY talks to Jason Lytle, in town opening for Band Of Horses at Massey Hall on December 5.

A new video from M. Ward’s A Wasteland Companion has premiered over at Team Coco.

Video: M. Ward – “Me And My Shadow”

Paul Westerberg talks to Rolling Stone about the covers benefit EP that will eventually be coming out credited to The Replacements.

Toro has an interview and Chart a video session with The Antlers.

The Alternate Side welcomes Bob Mould to their studios for a video session.