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Posts Tagged ‘Walkmen’

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Sunspots

Bob Mould revisits Workbook

Photo By Marc NorbergMarc NorbergI first got into Bob Mould in the early ’90s via Sugar, but quickly found myself seeking out his older works; obviously this included Hüsker Dü, but also his two late ’80s solo records Workbook and Black Sheets Of Rain which preceded his return to a band format. At the time they seemed like oddities, sounding neither like the hardcore-punk-pop evolution of the Dü years, nor the Alternative Nation-signifying roar of Sugar.

Rain was more characteristic of what people expected from Mould, built on layers of electric guitar and Mould’s angst-filled roar and probably not as well-regarded as it should be today because of some dated production values. Workbook, on the other hand, was filled with jangling 12-string acoustic guitar, cello and mandolin adornments, and major key melodies (though raging electric guitar and throat-shredding vocals also featured) – elements that would inform the next two and a half decades of his work, but as his first post-Hüsker Dü release, it must have been a head-scratcher. I took to it immediately – remember, for me 1991 was far more about Out Of Time than Nevermind – and Mould’s contribution to the seminal No Alternative AIDS benefit album in 1993 was also along those lines and one of my very favourites off that album.

All of which is to say as much as I love Bob when he’s perforating eardrums, as he’s been lately, I also totally dig his quieter stuff and I’m glad to see that Workbook is getting the respect that it deserves. It had already been announced that Mould would be marking the 25th anniversary of the release with a performance at Noise Pop next February where he’ll presumably – but not confirmedly – play it in its entirety. But Under The Radar now reports that the milestone is getting commemorated in somewhat larger fashion. A deluxe edition of the record – Workbook 25 – will be coming out on February 25 with the original album being accompanied by a second disc containing a b-side and a complete live show from the era. Granted, many of those bonus tracks appeared on the 1994 Poison Years compilation, but there’s still some unreleased goodies in there and isn’t it the thought that counts?

It’s a shame that the expanded slate of tour dates around its release don’t make it up here, but don’t forget that those Copper Blue recitals were only supposed to be a limited engagement and he toured that everywhere. So fingers crossed.

Video: Bob Mould – “See A Little Light”
Stream: Bob Mould / Workbook
Stream: Bob Mould – “Can’t Fight It”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have a new video from Wig Out At Jagbags, out January 7. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on February 22.

Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Cinnamon & Lesbians”

Broken Bells have a new video from their next album After The Disco, out January 14. They play The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Video: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”

Pixies have put out a fourth video from their EP1, which should be the last because there are no more songs but then they’ve already released multiple videos for one of the songs so who knows, maybe they’ll milk it another decade before putting out EP2. They’ll be at Massey Hall on January 15 with their new bassist – no, newer – Paz Lenchantin, whom you may remember from A Perfect Circle and Zwan. Or not.

Video: Pixies – “Another Toe In The Ocean”

Rolling Stone talks to Robert Pollard about matters Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices. The new GBV record Motivational Jumpsuit comes out February 18.

Phantogram have come clean with details on their second full-length album, entitled Voices and coming out February 18. Pitchfork has details and a stream of a new song while Metro and AMNY have interviews with the band.

Stream: Phantogram – “Fall In Love”

NPR welcomes Superchunk to their World Cafe for a session.

Speedy Ortiz have released a new video from this year’s debut, Major Arcana.

Video: Speedy Ortiz – “No Below”

NPR has a KCRW session with Glasser.

Magnet talks to Will Sheff of Okkervil River about how he feels about having The Silver Gymnasium named their album of the year. What’s he gonna say? Maybe, “thanks – how about contributing to my Kickstarter to fund a short film video for ‘Down Down The Deep River’?” Maybe. Also, at Salon, Sheff talks about how he wish he knew as a kid that being nerdy would eventually be cool. Nerdy, yes, though being a touring musician, also helps.

Dazed and Confused has premiered the new video from Blouse’s second album, Imperium.

Video: Blouse – “A Feeling Like This”

Billboard Q&As Janelle Monáe, whom they have declared as Rising Star of 2013.

NPR has a World Cafe session with The Head & The Heart.

The Skinny talks to Janet Weiss about her current work with Quasi, the fact that Wild Flag is no more, and that a Sleater-Kinney reunion might be inevitable – as proven by the fact that they reunited to play “Rockin’ In The Free World” with Pearl Jam a few nights later in Portland.

Stereogum tracks the final days of the now-defunct Walkmen.

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Echo Locate

Swearin’ are tourin’ and comin’ to town

Photo By Lance NelsonLance NelsonI won’t presume to have any insight into the relationship between Crutchfield sisters Katie and Allison, but it’s hard to imagine there isn’t at least a little competitiveness between the twins since they disbanded P.S. Eliot, the band they were in together, back in 2011 and re-emerged fronting Waxahatchee out of Philadelphia and Swearin’ in Brooklyn, respectively.

And while Katie pulled well ahead in the critical acclaim department earlier this year with the electrified folk sounds of Cerulean Salt, Allison is making a late-year run with Surfing Strange – a heady, hyper, and hooky slice of melodic punk-rock fuzz that recalls the likes of early Superchunk. Two excellent records that are similar enough to be “RIYL” for one another, but different enough to not have to choose sides.

In the battle of who’s coming to play Toronto first, though, Swearin’ wins. Though both acts spent most of the year on the road criss-crossing America and Europe – often together – a local date for Waxahatchee still hasn’t come together. Swearin’, however, have just announced a Winter tour that will bring them and their tunes to the cozy Parkdale basement we like to call The Shop Under Parts & Labour on March 14; ticket info still forthcoming.

Stereogum has an interview with Swearin’ while The San Francisco Examiner and Dots & Dashes profile Waxahatchee, who also play a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR.

And also worth noting is Great Thunder, a new project that brings Waxahatchee and Swearin’ together, but not in the sisterly way – instead, it pairs Katie Crutchfield with Swearin’ bassist Keith Spencer (who also plays in her band and is her boyfriend). They’ll release a double album in Groovy Kinda Love on December 10 and you can stream it below. As for the Crutchfield sisters together, they covered Grimes for Rookie back in May.

Stream: Swearin’ – “Watered Down”
Video: Swearin’ – “Gold In The Dust Sack”
Stream: Great Thunder / Groovy Kinda Love
Stream: Katie & Allison Crutchfield – “Oblivion”

A whole pile of other shows were announced yesterday, starting with Phosphorescent, who are taking advantage of the fact that their latest album Muchacho is popping up on – and topping – no shortage of year-end lists and have announced more Winter dates; they’ll be at The Mod Club on February 1, tickets $17.50. The Guardian also has an interview with Matthew Houck.

MP3: Phosphorescent – “Song For Zula”

It’s a trans-generational dose of Austin psychedelia as The Black Angels, who released Indigo Meadow back in April, team up with 13th Floor Elevator mastermind Roky Erickson, whose last album was the 2010 Okkervil River collab True Love Cast Out All Evil, for a Winter tour that stops in at The Phoenix on February 11. Tickets for that are $27.50.

MP3: The Black Angels – “Telephone”
Stream: Roky Erickson – “I Walked With A Zombie”

New Jersey electro-artist/producer Com Truise has announced the February 18 release of a new mini-album entitled Wave 1 – stream one of the songs below – and a Winter tour that comes to Wrongbar on February 12. Exclaim has full dates and release details.

Stream: Com Truise – “Declination”

Band Of Horses are setting out on an acoustic tour to coincide with the February 11 release of their unplugged Acoustic At The Ryman set, and will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 21, tickets $37.50 and $44.50 in advance.

MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”

With their first new album in three years – Wig Out At Jagbags – ready for release on January 7, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks are hitting the road with Philadelphia’s Disappears and will be at Lee’s Palace on February 22, tickets $26.50.

MP3: Disappears – “New Fast”
Lyric Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”

Xiu Xiu released their Nina Simone covers record Nina this week – stream it at USA Today – and have put together some Spring dates to support it. Look for them at The Garrison on March 9, tickets $10.

Video: Xiu Xiu – “You’d Be So Nice”
Stream: Xiu Xiu / Nina

Shearwater – who cover Xiu Xiu on their own new covers record Fellow Travelers – have announced their tourmates for their upcoming tour: On March 27 at The Horseshoe, they’ll be joined by Death Vessel, who are finally releasing a follow-up to 2008’s Nothing Is Precious Enough For Us in Island Intervals on February 25 – and Jesca Hoop, whose The House That Jack Built came out last year. Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater penned piece about the covers album for The Talkhouse.

Video: Jesca Hoop – “Ode To Banksy”
Stream: Death Vessel – “Ilsa Drown”

The War On Drugs have come clean on their new album, entitled Lost In The Dream and out March 18. You can stream a new song below, read an interview with Adam Granduciel at The Line Of Best Fit, and make plans around their Spring tour dates which include April 14 at The Horseshoe and/or April 15 at Lee’s Palace; probably not both. The band’s own website and PR says 14th at The ‘Shoe, so let’s circle that one. Update: It’s the Horseshoe, April 14, tickets $16.50.

Stream: The War On Drugs – “Red Eyes”

NPR has a video session with Darkside, who’re at Lee’s Palace on January 15.

Details are still vague, but The Line of Best Fit reports that the new St. Vincent album will be out on February 25.

Pitchfork has details on a new record from Brooklyn’s The Men; the optimistically-titled Tomorrow’s Hits comes out March 4.

Rolling Stone gets insight into the new Drive-By Truckers record, entitled English Oceans and coming March 4.

With this Fall’s Emancipated Hearts expressly called a mini-album, it’s technically accurate to call Dean Wareham’s forthcoming self-titled, Jim James-produced full-length his solo debut. It’s out March 11 and Consequence Of Sound has specifics.

Stereogum points out that The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have quietly rolled out a video for the title track of 2011’s Belong, serving as a pointed reminder that we’re well overdue for new material from them.

Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “Belong”

Kurt Vile chats with Tone Deaf, Houston Press, and FasterLouder, and reacts to being named one of GQ‘s “Men Of The Year”.

The 405 and Metro Active have interviews with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo.

NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert and Daytrotter a “stand behind whatever piece of furniture you like” session with The Dismemberment Plan.

Drowned In Sound meets Local Natives.

The AV Club gets a little more information from The Walkmen about their “extreme hiatus”, which begins after their show in Philadelphia tonight.

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Come As You Are

Giving thanks for “Whatever happened to Alternative Nation?”

Photo By Charles PetersenCharles PetersenFell into a long-form musical journalism rabbit hole recently via The AV Club’s “Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation?” 10-part series which actually ran almost three years ago but somehow got back on my radar, probably bubbling up to the surface in the wake of their recent redesign. If you haven’t read it, it covers the years from 1990 to 1999 through the lens of author Steven Hyden’s teen years, beginning with the rise of grunge at the start of the decade through the supremacy of nu-metal and chaos of Woodstock ’99 at the end of the century.

It was of particular interest to me because, though a few years older than Hyden and situated in the suburbs of Toronto rather than Wisconsin, it roughly documents my own journey of musical discovery in high school. Though Nirvana didn’t ultimately end up meaning much to me, I still very clearly remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the very first time on a friend’s Walkman in the cafeteria in the Fall of 1991 and being impressed that I could hear the string squeaks on the opening riff. And while I would like to pretend that I was into all the ’90s bands then that I love now – your Britpop, shoegaze, college rock, what have you – most of that was discovered retroactively, and that sort of personal revisionist history is addressed in part six; fact is, I was listening to the same now-acknowledged-as-awful radio rock as everyone else – yes I owned Throwing Copper but at least knew even then that Bush was awful – and only discovered or came to appreciate the good stuff after the fact. But better late than never, right?

In any case – it’s a well-written series that covers a lot of what anyone in their 30s lived through with the benefit of hindsight and historical insight, and worth reading if you’ve got some time on your hands and a copies of Siamese Dream and Definitely Maybe handy. Plus it lets me segue into some newsy bits from acts of that era who’re still doing stuff.

Video: Nirvana – “In Bloom”

For anyone who missed it, Tanya Donelly released the fourth volume of her Swan Song Series late last week and the bonus materials are particularly sweet and topical – ten demos of Belly’s debut, Star. And lest you think that’s the end of it, a fifth EP is in the works and I think I read somewhere that it’ll be out around February.

Stream: Tanya Donelly – “Salt”

Stephen Malkmus lists off the music he grew up listening to for The Guardian; his new album with The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags – comes out January 7.

Black Francis of Pixies discusses the band’s second act with The Guardian; they kick of their new tour at Massey Hall on January 15.

Seeing as how Andrew Rieger and Laura Carter opened for Jeff Mangum when he was here solo in August 2011, it makes sense that they’d bring the whole band with them when he does the same; Elf Power will open up both sold-out Neutral Milk Hotel shows at The Kool Haus on January 19 and 20. They released their latest album Sunlight On The Moon earlier this year.

Video: Elf Power – “Darkest Wave”

Guided By Voices has settled on a February 18 release date for their new record Motivational Jumpsuit – their fifth since the reunion and presumably the last with the so-called “classic lineup” with now-booted drummer Kevin Fennell. Rolling Stone is streaming the first preview track from the record.

Stream: Guided By Voices – “Littlest League Possible”

Superchunk have released another video from this year’s I Hate Music.

Video: Superchunk – “Void”

The 405 chit-chats with Sebadoh.

Dialing the Wayback Machine a little further, influential ’80s Los Angeles outfit and Paisley Underground pioneers The Dream Syndicate have made a date at The Garrison for February 8, tickets $30 in advance. The Chicago Tribune talks to leader Steve Wynn about the reunion.

Video: The Dream Syndicate – “That’s What You Always Say” (live)

And back to the 21st century, Entertainment Weekly has premiered the new video from Broken Bells’ forthcoming After The Disco, out January 14, and if you’d prefer a studio session version rather than a movie star-featuring version, head over to The Guardian. Broken Bells are at The Danforth Music Hall on March 3.

Video: Broken Bells – “Holding On For Life”

Saddle Creek songstress Maria Taylor has made a date at the Drake Underground for February 9 in support of her latest album Something About Knowing. Tickets for that are $11.50 and examiner.com has an interview with Taylor.

Video: Maria Taylor – “Up All Night”

Boston psych-folk trio Quilt have announced a Winter tour in support of their second album Held in Splendor, which comes out January 28th and from which there’s a video and stream to preview. They’re at The Drake Underground on March 3, tickets $10. Philthy has an interview.

Stream: Quilt – “Tired & Buttered”
Video: Quilt – “Arctic Shark”

Under The Radar gets a track-by-track walkthrough of Shearwater’s new covers album Fellow Travelers. The play The Horseshoe on March 27.

The Hold Steady are crowdfunding a new covers EP via PledgeMusic while they continue to work on a new album, due out in the new year.

Paste checks in with Colin Meloy about matters solo and Decemberist.

Magnet interviews Midlake, this week’s guest editors on their website.

The War On Drugs.

Drowned In Sound has an interview with A Place To Bury Strangers.

Bassist/organist Peter Bauer of The Walkmen tells The Washington Post that their upcoming shows in Washington DC and Philadelphia could be/will be the band’s last. Ever. For serious.

Having covered “Kill The Turkey” on last year’s Thanksgiving episode, it’s not really a surprise that The National would again spend American turkey day with Bob’s Burgers, and lo – Entertainment Weekly has an animated video of the band doing this year’s musical number, a salute to gravy boats. Happy Thanksgiving, America.

Video: The National – “Sailors In Your Mouth”

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

No One Ever Sleeps

The Walkmen and Father John Misty aim to find out exactly how often is too often

Photo By Arno FrugierArno FrugierUsually when a band says, “we’ll see you soon” as they walk off the stage, it’s a mostly-empty platitude that means “we’ll see you when we’ve got a new record to push”, or “we’ll see you when our next single becomes a huge hit and allows us to come back and play a much bigger room”. For New York rock stalwarts The Walkmen and Los Angeles psych-folk bard Father John Misty, though, at least lately, it’s been an ironclad promise.

The Walkmen were here twice already this year – once in March at The Phoenix as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, and again in August at the Molson Amphitheatre supporting both Florence & The Machine and their latest album Heaven – and Father John Misty has one-upped them, making his local debut at The Horseshoe in May, opening up for Youth Lagoon at The Opera House in July, and then returning again to headline Lee’s Palace just this past weekend, all in support of his debut Fear Fun. Which is great news for their fans if a bit hard on their fans’ pocketbooks.

But if you reside in that section of their fanbase Venn diagrams that intersect, the fact that they’re teaming up for a Winter tour should be an exciting one. It will bring them to The Danforth Music Hall on January 16 with ticket prices ranging from $33.50 to $45.50, which isn’t the cheapest, but when you consider the two-for-one value proposition, it’s a pretty good deal.

Le Blogotheque has a couple videos from The Walkmen’s 10th anniversary show in New York this Summer. Bullett, The Chicago Tribune, and The Phoenix have interviews with Josh Tillman of Father John Misty, who is continuing on his current tour.

MP3: The Walkmen – “Love Is Luck”
MP3: The Walkmen – “Line By Line”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
MP3: Father John Misty – “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

Grantland goes behind the scenes of the first video from Titus Andronicus’ Local Business. That record brings them to Lee’s Palace on November 27 and provides context for this interview at The Guardian

Video: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Band Of Horses, hitting Massey Hall on December 5.

Pitchfork has details on the solo debut from Christopher Owens, former frontman for Girls. Lysandre will be out on January 14 and a couple songs from it are available to stream.

Stream: Christopher Owens – “Lysandre’s Theme / Here We Go”

The first preview track from Local Natives’ new record Hummingbird, due out January 29, is now available to download. They’re at The Opera House on March 28.

MP3: Local Natives – “Breakers”

Though busy for the last while as being part of Thao & Mirah, Thao Nguyen has gotten back together with The Get Down Stay Down – though grammar geeks will find it interesting they’re now credited as “and” instead of “with” – and will release a new album in We The Common on February 5. Stream the first track below.

Stream: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – “Holy Roller”

Under The Radar points out that Telekinesis has, for shits and giggles, made a new Hallowe’en-themed song available to download.

MP3: Telekinesis – “Clock Strikes Midnight”

Loud & Quiet and The Huffington Post talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Paul Banks talks to Exclaim and Northern Transmissions about and offers Drowned In Sound a track-by-track guide to Banks.

The Shins’ contribution to the now-available Starbucks holiday comp Holidays Rule – a Paul McCartney cover – is now available to stream in whole thanks to Stereogum, and if that’s not enough Shins for you, the whole of their Austin City Limits episode is available to watch. And if that’s still not enough, well I can’t help you.

Stream: The Shins – “Wonderful Christmas Time”

aux.tv talks to Lou Barlow about keeping the balance between Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, and all that other stuff he does.

Mojo interviews Bob Mould.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

CONTEST – The Walkmen @ The Phoenix – March 2, 2012

Photo via thewalkmen.comthewalkmen.comWho: The Walkmen
What: Veteran New York rockers who’ve carved out a successful, decade-long career consisting of six albums with a seventh on the way.
Why: A 10th anniversary is as good a time as any to have a look back and throw a party, so the band are doing just that with a series of one-off, career-retrospective shows
When: Friday, March 2, 2012
Where: The Phoenix in Toronto (19+)
Who else: It’s billed as “An Evening With The Walkmen”, not “An Evening With The Walkmen And Some Other Band That Will Keep You From Seeing The Walkmen For An Extra Hour”. So there.
How: Tickets for the show are $26 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, I’ve got one pair of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with, “I want to be a Walkman” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, February 28.
What else: Hardly getting stuck in the past, they’ve just completed the follow-up to 2010’s Lisbon – they talk to Paste and Stereogum about the new record, which they hope to have out in the Spring and which you can expect to hear material from when they open for Florence & The Machine at The Molson Amphitheatre on August 2.

MP3: The Walkmen – “Stranded”
MP3: The Walkmen – “Four Provinces”
MP3: The Walkmen – “In The New Year”