Posts Tagged ‘Vivian Girls’

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

SxSW 2009 A/V – Vivian Girls

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangVivian Girls
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Lo-fi trio who released the well-received Vivian Girls in 2008 and will follow up with their sophomore effort later this year. Currently on tour with a date at the Horseshoe in Toronto on May 8
Show review
– feature at Prefix

Photos: Vivian Girls @ The Mohawk Patio – March 19, 2009
MP3: Vivian Girls – “Where Do You Run To?”
Video: Vivian Girls – “Tell The World”
MySpace: Vivian Girls

Friday, March 20th, 2009

SxSW 2009 Day Two

Glasvegas, School Of Seven Bells, Graham Coxon and more at SxSW

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangFor the second day of SxSW, I eschewed all the running around that marked the first day – instead, I let the bands come to me. The best place to let this occur was the Mohawk, where Rhapsody were again throwing an impressive party.

Leading things off and obviously dazed in the bright midday sun were Vivian Girls, who manage to grow on me a little more each time I hear them. I think their live show worked better for me because it shed the deliberately tinny production of the records and actually delivered some serious oomph with its simple pop sensibilities. Lock me in a room with the album on repeat for a week and I might even become a fan.

I decided to not pay attention to Wavves, who was up next, but was front and centre for the following act – School Of Seven Bells. The band maintained the trio-plus-sampler live format they used when they visited Toronto in November and while I still believe a live drummer would really take things to another level, I found their performance to be a lot looser and more natural this time out – one of the perks of relentless touring, I guess. This was most evident in the Deheza sisters’ vocals, which while still spot-on in their harmonies, had an extra expressiveness that I hadn’t noticed last time. Nice to see and hear their live presentation doing proper justice to the material.

And while not the afternoon’s headliner, it could be argued that Glasvegas were the biggest draw on the bill – after all, the Scottish quartet had rolled into town on no small amount of hype and many, myself included, wanted to see if they could measure up. And in a word, I would say yes. The reservations I had about their self-titled debut aren’t allayed, but they are significantly outweighed by the sheer intensity of the music’s delivery. Decked out in their signature black outfits – and flushed and sweat-drenched by set’s end – Glasvegas proved to have plenty of live charisma. Of course frontman James Allen provided much of it, with his Ray-Bans and pompadour, but much credit must be given to Rab Allan who I was surprised to see handled much of the difficult musical details – guitar, vocals, keys – that make the album a winner, and that he did so while bounding around the stage with bassist Paul Donoghue. A spirited performance from a band that I’d half-expected to phone it in (don’t ask me why I thought that). Very impressive.

At this point there were a few options open to me, but all were filed under “contingency” depending on whether or not the Brush Square Park tent was a badge-only venue, as it usually was in years past. The draw was Graham Coxon, who was a late addition to the festival lineup and the good news was that the venue was indeed open to all.

The bad news was they were running quite a bit late and that I was going to have to sit through a performance from an outfit called Esser to get to Graham. They were a British outfit that you’d have to call pop, but only in the most vapid sense of the word. With a frontman whose only distinctive qualities were a gimmicky haircut and annoying on-stage mugging, they pillaged soul, reggae and dance styles without managing to adopt any of their respective redeeming qualities.

Thankfully their set was somewhat truncated to allow Coxon to play his almost full-set. It’s remarkable – putting aside his skewed pop maven role in Blur, I knew Coxon in his solo guise mostly as a noisenik of the highest order, paying tribute to his American punk and hardcore influences. If this solo acoustic show is any indication, however, his new record The Spinning Top – out in May – will cast his as an improbable folky. Even assuming the arrangements on the album are more electrified, the songs are still very lyric-centric and decidedly unlike his past works. And speaking of his past works, I will confess a tiny part of me was hoping to hear “Coffee & TV” or “You’re So Great”, but I know that’d have been as likely as, well, something entirely unlikely. But still a treat to see one of my favourite all-time guitarists live, in any setting.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

Hot Freaks at SxSW 2009… revealed!

Photo By Donald MilneDonald MilneThe first one went over like gangbusters, and the second one was even better… so why wouldn’t we do it all again for 2009? Yes’m, I’m once again very proud to be able to announce – along with fellow music blog compatriots Aquarium Drunkard, Gorilla Vs Bear, Largehearted Boy, My Old Kentucky Blog and You Ain’t No Picasso – the lineup for Hot Freaks 2009, taking place during SxSW at the Mohawk and Club DeVille in Austin, Texas on March 20 and 21. Two days, three stages, 32 acts.

It’s taken a little longer than usual to get things together this year, but it’s been worth the wait. I mean, we’ve had some pretty impressive Hot Freaks alumnus over the last couple years – St Vincent, Shearwater, The Polyphonic Spree, Grizzly Bear, Land Of Talk, Jens Lekman, Lykke Li, The Acorn and British Sea Power to name just a few – but I will hold this Hot Freaks lineup up against any of the others we’ve pulled together in the past. But don’t just take my word for it – have a look:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Club DeVille (Insound Stage)
12:30 PM Obits / MySpace / MP3: “Pine On”
1:30 PM Handsome Furs / MySpace / MP3: “I’m Confused”
2:30 PM American Analog Set / MySpace
3:30 PM The Thermals / MySpace / MP3: “Now We Can See”
4:30 PM The Hold Steady / MySpace

The Mohawk Patio
12:00 PM The Wrens / MySpace / MP3: “Everyone Choose Sides”
1:00 PM Bishop Allen / MySpace / MP3: “Dimmer”
2:00 PM The Henry Clay People / MySpace / MP3: “Something In The Water”
3:00 PM Port O’Brien / MySpace / MP3: “I Woke Up Today”
4:00 PM The Rosebuds / MySpace / MP3: “Life Like”
5:00 PM Delta Spirit / MySpace / MP3: “People C’Mon”

The Mohawk Inside
12:30 PM The Rural Alberta Advantage / MySpace / MP3: “Don’t Haunt This Place”
1:30 PM We Have Band / MySpace / MP3: “Hear It In The Cans”
2:30 PM These United States / MySpace / MP3: “Honor Amongst Thieves”
3:30 PM Alela Diane / MySpace / MP3: “White As Diamonds”
4:30 PM Richard Swift / Richard Swift / MP3: “Lady Luck”

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Club DeVille
12:30 PM Real Estate / MySpace / MP3: “Black Lake”
1:30 PM Girls / MySpace / MP3: “Lust For Life”
2:30 PM The Grates / MySpace / MP3: “Burn Bridges”
3:30 PM Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains / MySpace / MP3: “American Names”
4:30 PM Jeremy Jay / MySpace / MP3: “Beautiful Rebel”

The Mohawk Patio
12:00 PM Harlem / MySpace
1:00 PM Jason Lytle / MySpace / MP3: “Birds Encouraged Him” (live)
2:00 PM Vivian Girls / MySpace / MP3: “Where Do You Run To?”
3:00 PM Viva Voce / MySpace / MP3: “Drown Them Out”
4:00 PM Peelander-Z / MySpace / MP3: “Ninja-High Schooool”
5:00 PM Camera Obscura / MySpace / MP3: “My Maudlin Career”

The Mohawk Inside
12:30 PM Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers / MySpace / MP3: “Filthy & Free”
1:30 PM Roadside Graves / MySpace
2:30 PM Mason Proper / MySpace / MP3: “Fog”
3:30 PM Lemonade / MySpace / MP3: “Big Weekend”
4:30 PM Amazing Baby / MySpace / MP3: “Bayonets”

The Wrens are kicking things off at noon. The Rural Alberta Advantage will still be riding high on opening up for Grizzly Bear the night before. The American Analog Set – reunited and reactivated for this show only! – are playing The Golden Band in its entirety. The Hold Steady will be holding court on the Insound stage. Alela Diane will mesmerize. The Grates will be bouncing off the walls. Jason Lytle will unveil his post-Grandaddy works. Peelander-Z will do… what Peelander Z does. And Camera Obscura will close things out by showcasing their forthcoming album My Maudlin Career. This, my friends, is what we call bliss.

And thanks go out to our main sponsors GOOM Radio and, who are offering 75 free songs for signups. Please respondez s’il vous plait – admission is free, PBRs are $1. Awesome is guaranteed. And sorry, this is a 21+ event – the drinks will be flowing.

Add all our shows to your calendar. You DO have one, right?

MP3: Guided By Voices – “Hot Freaks”

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Here It Comes

Doves migrate to North America

Photo via Doves.netDovesI had something really cool ready to post today, but then I couldn’t post it quite yet and so another day, another cobbled-together post. But at least it starts with some good stuff. And cool stuff might yet come before the day is out.

We’e inching nearer and nearer to the April 7 release date of Doves’ new album Kingdom Of Rust, and with new albums comes touring – the band have announced their first North American tour in four years starting in May, and the Toronto date is set for June 1 at the Kool Haus. Now I have kind of mixed feelings about this date – if I’m able to attend, it means that I didn’t go to Primavera Sound. But if I do get to go to Primavera Sound, then I miss seeing Doves. Of course, Barcelona wins this little competition of things I’d rather do by a landslide but it’s kind of nice to know that if it ends up out of reach, there’s a consolation prize.

Video: Doves -“Kingdom Of Rust”

Stop Crying Your Heart Out has an interview with Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Via Information Leafblower.

That Coldplay show with Elbow will be taking place at the Rogers Centre on July 30, and not the Molson Amphitheatre as originally reported. Tickets range from $39.50 to $99.50 and go on sale March 9

Hey, remember when she played the Rivoli? Adele has a date at Massey Hall for April 29. Tickets $39.50, on sale Saturday.

Vivian Girls are hitting the road and will be swinging through Toronto on May 8 accompanied by Crystal Antlers for a show at the Horseshoe. Pitchfork.TV also has a two-part video session with the band.

Le Blogotheque has a Take-Away Show with Ra Ra Riot, and if you missed the announcement yesterday, they’e going to be in town on April 7 opening up for Death Cab For Cutie at the Sound Academy. Cold War Kids round out that bill.

Magnet have enlisted Dean & Britta to play guest-editor on their website – start out with this interview and browse the site at your leisure for more dispatches from the duo.

They’re not, however, responsible for this piece that rates the top five overrated and underrated Wilco songs – that’s all Magnet staff. Wilco’s new album is currently set for a June release.

Billboard has got more details on Neil Young’s forthcoming Fork In The Road, now set for an April 7 release.

The Line Of Best Fit has got another new track from My Latest Novel, whose sophomore album Death And Entrances is out May 18.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews DeVotchKa.

Spin is offering a couple of acoustic performance videos from Metric, whose new album Fantasies is out April 14. They’re streaming a few tracks on their website.

BeatRoute interviews The Hylozoists.

Laundromatinee sessions up with Blitzen Trapper.

Citing an internet leak as the reason, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s have elected to move the release of their next album It’s Blitz! up from the original April 14 date to March 31. Spin has excerpted some of their cover story on the band online.