Posts Tagged ‘Watson Twins’

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

February Snow

Review of Peggy Sue’s Fossils And Other Ghosts

Photo By Patrick FordPatrick FordHad the weekend not already wiped me out before Sunday even began, I might well have made it a three-for-three for shows-in-evenings – or five-for-three if I had attempted to make any of the in-stores happening around town – by catching Peggy Sue at Sneaky Dee’s on Sunday night. And if that had happened, you might be reading a live review of their show. But I didn’t, and so you’re not.

But even without my notes from the Toronto stop of their ongoing North American tourFriends With Both Arms was and has some thoughts and remember, I caught them last time they visited – there’s plenty to talk about with regards to the English trio. They just released their debut album Fossils And Other Phantoms in North America – hence the tour – and melange of folk, soul and blues that their Lover Gone EP hinted at arrives on it fully-formed. It’s a darkly-hued and unexpectedly sensual record filled with tales of love gone wrong, gone off or just gone away, all delivered in the affectingly unvarnished voices and multi-instrumentalism of Katy Young and Rosa Slade and backed by the clattering percussion of Olly Joyce. It’s not the most immediate record, but given the proper attention its a rewarding listen.

As part of their tour, the band are recording a live video on location in each city – I’m pleased to be able to present their communiqué from Toronto, a reading of “February Snow” done by the garden car in Kensington Market. Enjoy it and check out the rest of the series at their YouTube channel.

And on top of that, there’s a Daytrotter session from this Spring and a video from Fossils – not a bad grab bag for having missed the show, eh?

Video: Peggy Sue – “Watchman”

Interpol have finalized details on the release of their fourth album. The previously announced window of mid-September has been clarified and the self-titled effort will be released on September 13, and somewhat surprisingly, it will be coming out on their original label of Matador. Their move to Capitol for 2007’s Our Love To Admire was one of the first in a run of indie rock stalwarts leveraging that success for life in the major leagues – and now they’re one of the first to return. Interesting.

The Line Of Best Fit chats with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart.

Following the August 24 release of their Burning/Special Moves live video/audio documents, Mogwai will be screening the film component around North America – the Toronto date will comprise two screenings at the Drake Underground on September 14. There’s a new clip from the film available to watch.

Video: Mogwai – “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead” (live)

School Of Seven Bells will follow up the July 13 release of their sophomore effort Disconnect From Desire with an Autumn North American tour, supported by Active Child and including a September 15 date at the Mod Club in Toronto.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Babelonia”

Laura Veirs and The Watson Twins will team up for a Fall tour that stops in at the Horseshoe on September 29. Veirs’ latest album July Flame came out in Jaunary, while The Watson Twins released Talking To You, Talking To Me a month later. Veirs’ Daytrotter session just went up as well.

MP3: Laura Veirs – “Wide-Eyed, Legless”

Stereogum has premiered an MP3 from the new Superchunk record Majesty Shredding, out September 14.

PitchforkTV has added a couple more segments to their video session with The Hold Steady. They play the Kool Haus on July 17.

Spinner, The Guardian and Billboard talk to Kele about The Boxer. The record is out next week and he plays the Mod Club on July 29.

Interview puts M.I.A. and the director of her “Born Free” video in conversation with one another.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Click, Click, Click, Click

Review of Bishop Allen's The Broken String

Photo By Aubrey EdwardsAubrey EdwardsNever have I claimed to be the fastest to get turned on to something, to be the one who discovers the next big thing. I’m far more tortoise than hare in these sorts of matters, but even then there’s not really any excuse for taking, oh, seventeen months to get around to writing up Bishop Allen’s last album The Broken String – or even longer if you think back to the year-long “one EP a month” series in 2006 from which much of the album is taken.

And it’s a pity I’ve waited so long, because I am very much in this record’s target market – namely fans of sprightly indie rock of the wordy variety. As such, stylistically and sonically, it’s very familiar stuff built on earnest boy lead vocals with sweet girl backing vocals and just enough interesting instrumental flourishes to disguise the fact that it’s pretty straight guitar-driven folk-pop. Where Bishop Allen stands out is in the songwriting, which is never less than solid but on a few occasions, is outstanding. Leadoff track “The Monitor” is a stirring and evocative piece about a Civil War naval battle, but that sort of lyrical grandeur is the exception rather than the rule – the standouts tend to be those the simple, slice of live observationals that are rendered in exquisite detail, as in “Flight 180” or “The Chinatown Bus”. They also handle the peppier stuff with vigor and aplomb, but it’s the slower, more thoughtful stuff such as above that really sticks.

Because of my neglect, I missed the band when they came through last Summer but I shan’t be skipping out on their just-announced January 17 date at the El Mocambo. Similarly, when their next album Grr… is released on March 10, you can be sure I won’t be taking a year and a half to give it the attention it deserves. The Justice has an interview with band principal Justin Rice.

MP3: Bishop Allen – “Click, Click, Click, Click”
MP3: Bishop Allen – “Middle Management”
MP3: Bishop Allen – “Rain”
Video: Bishop Allen – “Click, Click, Click, Click”
Video: Bishop Allen – “Middle Management”
MySpace: Bishop Allen

Ben Kweller and The Watson Twins are at the Mod Club on February 22, tickets $25. Spinner, The Smith College Sophian and The Irish Independent talk to Kweller, who will release a new album in Changing Horses on February 3. Stereogum are sharing the first single.

The Airborne Toxic Event, last spotted hereabouts for V Fest, have a date at the El Mocambo on March 4. Tickets for that are $12.50.

Blurt, Glide, ArtistDirect and The Toronto Sun make time with Rachael Yamgata, who will be at the Mod Club on Friday for an early show. She’s got not one but two new vids from Elephants… Teeth Sinking Into Heart.

Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Faster”
Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Sunday Afternoon”

Brooklyn noiseniks Dirty On Purpose have formally called it a day. A moment of silence for a great band who created my favourite trebuchet-themed video of all time.

Video: Dirty On Purpose – “Car No Driver”

The Independent, The Oxford Mail and This Is Nottingham interview Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn.

Ra Ra Riot are in session overload – Laundromatinee has a video session, NPR an audio one. They also find time to squeeze in an interview with The Courier-Journal.

Austin360 talks to Johnathan Martin of The Uglysuit.

Lots of session action lately for School Of Seven Bells with audio and video sets for for Radio K, KCRW and Spinner’s Interface and video only at Lime.

Paste reports that Hazards Of Love, the new record from The Decemberists, will be coming out on March 24 of next year.

The Long Winters have released a live DVD entitled Live At The Showbox and are giving away a few live tracks taken from it. Check it out.

MP3: The Long Winters – “Scared Straight” (live)
MP3: The Long Winters – “Clouds” (live)
MP3: The Long Winters – “Cinnamon” (live)

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats salutes heavy metal for the The New Zealand Herald.