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Posts Tagged ‘We Are Scientists’

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Chords I've Known

Tribute to Sparklehorse seeks tributes from fans

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangSparklehorse were never an especially commercially successful band during their lifetime, their heartbroken transistor radio cosmic country finding only a cult audience, but a lot of that cult audience were other artists. And so almost four years after Mark Linkous took his own life, the Box Of Stars organization, which seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues through music, has gathered together an impressive roster of those fans for Last Box Of Sparklers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous.

Amongst the contributors you’ll find Sparklehorse forebears, contemporaries, and followers including The Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr, Cowboy Junkies, Phantogram, and The Joy Formidable. Financing for the release is currently being sourced through Indiegogo and with nine days to go, they’re 40% of the way to their $50,000 goal. It would be a shame on so many levels if this project didn’t happen so if you were a fan of Sparklehorse – or are a fan of any of the contributing artists and would like to be introduced to the sad and beautiful world of Sparklehorse – see about contributing.

Pitchfork has more details on the project and a stream of Mercury Rev’s track.

Stream: Mercury Rev – “Sea Of Teeth”
Trailer: Last Box Of Sparkers: A Tribute To Mark Linkous

The National have made their contribution to the new The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack – due out November 19 – available to stream and guitarist Aaron Dessner gives NME some insight into their plans for their next album.

Stream: The National – “Lean”

Unofficial ambassador of Arizona to the world – never mind that Walter White fellow – Howe Gelb has made a date at The Drake Underground on December 7 to play songs from his new solo record The Coincidentalist, his first visit since bringing the ‘Sno Angel Like You gospel project to Lee’s Palace in December 2006. Tickets for that will be $17.50.

Stream: Howe Gelb – “Vortexas”

Pitchfork and Rolling Stone talk to Stephen Malkmus about his new album with The Jicks, entitled Wig Out at Jagbags and due in January 7; details at Matablog, lyric video for a new song below. Sing along!

Lyric Video: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Lariat”

The whole of Warpaint’s set at the Pitchfork Paris festival earlier this month is available to watch online; I would expect some tracks from their new album Warpaint, out January 21, are included in the set.

Video: Warpaint live at Pitchfork Paris 2014

Though just here last last month, San Francisco’s Weekend are coming back to town and bringing Philadelphia’s unbelievably loud Nothing – themselves just here in August – for a show at The Garrison on January 21; tickets are $10.50 in advance.

MP3: Weekend – “Coma Summer”
Video: Nothing – “Downward Years To Come”

Le Tigre alumnus JD Samson & MEN are touring behind their new record Labor and will be at The Garrison on January 26. Noisey has an interview with Samson.

Video: JD Samson & MEN – “Making Art”

Rolling Stone has premiered a stream of the new song by Hospitality, taken from their sophomore album Trouble, coming out January 27.

Stream: Hospitality – “I Miss Your Bones”

Austin’s White Denim have announced Winter dates behind their new, Jeff Tweedy-produced album Corsicana Lemonade; dates and a stream of the album can be had at Exclaim, and they include a March 3 date at The Horseshoe, tickets $15.50. The Irish Examiner has an interview with the band and NPR a video session.

Stream: White Denim / Corsicana Lemonade
Video: White Denim – “Pretty Green”

Billboard talks to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers about their new album, recorded in a fortnight and set for release in March of the new year.

We Are Scientists have slated a Spring tour behind their new EP Business Casual – which includes a cover of Berlin’s love theme from Top Gun which itself has a video – and they’ll be at Lee’s Palace on April 22.

Video: We Are Scientists – “Take My Breath Away”

Innocent Words has an interview with Tanya Donelly.

Superchunk have made the latest edition of their Clambake live album series – a 1996 vintage show in Melbourne – available to stream for free.

Stream: Superchunk / Clambakes Volume 7: Shut the F*ck Up!…No, We Love You – Live at the Corner Hotel 1996

NYC Taper is sharing a record of Built To Spill’s visit to Irving Plaza in New York last week.

PopMatters, The Georgia Straight, and San Francisco Examiner talk to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

The Alternate Side has a session with The Dismemberment Plan.

eMusic, Paste, and Filter have interviews with Midlake, who also offer instructions on how to make an old-fashioned.

Noisey talks to Josh Tillman of Father John Misty.

Spin and The Fly talk to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.

The 405 interviews The Men.

Rolling Stone has a eulogy for Lou Reed by his wife Laurie Anderson, as well as video of his final interview.

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Met Before

I am back in town. Chairlift are coming to town. Coincidence? Absolutely.

Photo By Tom HinesTom HinesSo Chicago was great, thanks for asking. Terrible weather forecasts came not to pass, though storms yesterday did wreak a little havoc on getting out of town. But that’s neither here nor there, and I am now here, not there. And here is a very short post to confirm that I am, indeed, still alive.

It’s not entirely clear to me what the mandate of the Soundclash festival coming to Harbourfront Centre in July is, but at least part of it is to bring Brooklyn electro-pop duo Chairlift to town for a free show on the Harbourfront mainstage on July 12 – I only realized I really dug their last album Something after they’d finished touring it – so it’s cool with me. That’s in addition to the Born Ruffians and Belle Game bill on the evening of the 13th, so if there’s a better place to hang out that weekend than on the lakefront, I can’t imagine what it is.

MP3: Chairlift – “I Belong In Your Arms”

If you didn’t know, the NXNE schedule is now live and should be your go-to for updates on who’s playing the festival, which kicks off June 12. One of the new adds worth noting is California’s We Are Scientists, who will anchor the Lee’s Palace lineup on June 14 and play Yonge-Dundas Square on June 15 at 4PM. Their last album was 2010’s Barbara but should be due a new record later this year.

MP3: We Are Scientists – “Impatience”

When you’re talking about Björk, some degree of strange is always implied, but that Californian experimental hip-hop outfit Death Grips will be opening for her at Echo Beach on July 16 is extra strange. Well, not when you consider Zach Hill and Björk are chums and collaborators, but musically? There’ll be some confused Björk super-fans up front that night, I wager.

MP3: Death Grips – “Spread Eagle Cross The Block”

The CNE circuit is usually reserved for family-friendly, throwback nostalgia acts, but it appears that The New Pornographers will be one of the performers at this year’s Ex, presumably playing the Bandshell on August 17. Shows are free with admission to the Exhibition.

MP3: The New Pornographers – “The Laws Have Changed”

Whilst on the topic of free (or free with admission) outdoor shows around the city, Plants & Animals and Cadence Weapon will be part of the Indie Fridays concert series at Yonge-Dundas Square on the evenings of August 23 and August 30, respectively.

MP3: Plants & Animals – “Song For Love”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

Because he doesn’t give a damn what you or anyone else thinks, Peter Hook and his band The Light will be in town on September 19 as part of his tour of complete album recitals of New Order’s Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies. It is worth noting, however, that The Hoxton is a good deal smaller than The Phoenix, where he first performed Unknown Pleasures in Fall of 2011. Tickets are $18 in advance, which isn’t bad to see a legend up close and personal.

Trailer: Peter Hook & The Light / Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies live

Brooklyn-based electronic/ambient artist Julianna Barwick will release her new album Nepenthe on August 20 and be in town at Double Double Land on September 26 to play songs from it.

MP3: Julianna Barwick – “Never Change”
Trailer: Julianna Barwick / Nepenthe

Laura Marling talks to Interview, The Age, NOW, and Spin about her new album Once I Was An Eagle, out next Tuesday, May 28, and streaming now at NPR. She plays 99 Sudbury this Saturday night, March 25.

Stream: Laura Marling / Once I Was An Eagle

The National released Trouble Will Find Me this week, and are thus the topic of feature pieces at The Grid – who send Hayden to interview Matt Berninger – as well as The Toronto Sun, Entertainment Weekly, Consequence Of Sound, Billboard, NPR, and The National Post. NPR also has a World Cafe session with the band, who headline NXNE at Yonge-Dundas Square on June 14.

Okay I’m going to go lie down now.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Sleep On Fire

Holly Miranda and Braids at The El Mocambo in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI’ve already document thoughts in this space about Holly Miranda on record – specifically her debut The Magician’s Private Library – and Holly Miranda live – specifically one of her day shows at SxSW – so I’m a bit short on lead-in thoughts to her show at the El Mocambo in Toronto this past Thursday; her second solo appearance but first headlining.

I do, however, have some thoughts on Montreal’s Braids, who were supporting her on a handful of dates and who have been getting some modest buzz; buzz which played a fairly large part in getting me off the fence about going to the show (on the side of going, if that wasn’t clear). And from the very limited samples they’ve posted on their MySpace – “Lemonade” and “Liver & Tan” – they certainly sound like they’d be worthy of note. Both are fine balancing acts between aural experimentation and pop smarts, where complex vocal and guitar arrangements still resolve into hooks and however far they meander, they don’t lose sight of the melody, and if these songs – which I believe bookended their set – were representative of everything in between, then I’d happily be adding my voice to the chorus of praise. Unfortunately, much of what else went on sounded like the above description but without the pop element – there was plenty of impressive musicianship and four-part vocal chorals, but little in the way of structure. It’s worth noting, however, that I am anything but a card-carrying member of the Dirty Bear Collective into which the Braids aesthetic seems to fall quite squarely, so it’s possible/probable that I just don’t like or get what they’re about. It doesn’t change the fact, however, that there was enough there that I found appealing that the rest of it felt like a disappointment.

There was no such disappointment from the headliner, though it helped that I had a good idea of what to expect. Miranda was touring as the same four-piece that had been in Austin in March, which meant that the leaner and punchier version of The Magician’s Private Library would be in effect. With a low-key but magnetic stage presence, Miranda appeared appreciative of the decent turnout on the eve of a long weekend but obviously preferred to let the music speak for her. Library did a good job of capturing the dreamier side of Miranda’s songs and vocals, but those familiar with her works beyond just the record know that she’s got a grittier, earthier aspect to her that’s just as potent if not more. This was particularly evident in her show-stopping cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” and main set-closing new song that called for equal rights first with yearning vocals, and then a raging guitar break. If Library was intended to capture the feeling of being asleep and dreaming, then the new material seems very much wide awake – most certainly a good thing.

NOW and Faster Louder have interviews with Holly Miranda. Braids’ debut full-length will be entitled Native Speaker and is due out in the Fall. They’re currently on a Canadian tour that includes another Toronto date at The Piston on May 29 as part of this year’s Pitter Patter Music Fest.

Photos: Holly Miranda, Braids @ The El Mocambo – May 20, 2010
MP3: Holly Miranda – “Waves”
MP3: Holly Miranda – “Forest Green Oh Forest Green”
MP3: Braids – “Lemonade”
MySpace: Holly Miranda

Land Of Talk have announced their second full-length album will be entitled Cloak & Cipher and be released on August 24. Aux.tv talked to Liz Powell a little while ago about making the record with producer Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes.

Dose talks to Carl Newman of The New Pornographers, in town at the Sound Academy on June 15.

Blurt has kicked off a multi-part series remembering Jeff Buckley.

Daytrotter has got a session with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, who will release their new record Let It Sway on August 17. Grab the first MP3 in exchange fr your email at Polyvinyl.

NPR has an interview with The Hold Steady; they have a date at the Kool Haus on July 16.

NYC Taper is sharing a live recording of Phantogram at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan last week and NJ.com has an interview with guitarist/vocalist Josh Carter.

Cincinatti’s WHY? will be at the Horseshoe on July 15, tickets $13.50. Their most recent release was last Fall’s Eskimo Snow

MP3: WHY? – “The Blackest Purse”

With their new record Barbara due out June 15, We Are Scientists will be hitting the road this Summer including a date at the Horseshoe on July 19, advance tickets $15. TwentyFourBit has an interview with the band, who are also blogging over at The Guardian.

Video: We Are Scientists – “Rules Don’t Stop”
Video: We Are Scientists – “Nice Guys”

Much to the delight of people who hate Dave Matthews – which is to say everyone – The Felice Brothers have scheduled their own Toronto show for July 27 at the Horseshoe, following their June 1 date supporting DMB at the Molson Amphitheatre. Tickets for the show are $15. Simone Felice is also appearing solo at NXNE, with a show at the Great Hall on June 18.

MP3: The Felice Brothers – “Run Chicken Run”
MP3: The Felice Brothers – “Frankie’s Gun”
MP3: The Felice Brothers – “Wonderful Life”