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Posts Tagged ‘Widowspeak’

Monday, November 18th, 2013

A Wake For The Minotaur

Shearwater stream, set travels for Fellow Travelers

Photo By James HamiltonJames HamiltonFor some artists, an album of covers would be an afterthought, a stopgap between albums of original work. And that was what Shearwater’s new album Fellow Travelers was supposed to be – a quick and dirty collection of versions of songs by the many bands, big and small, that they’ve toured with over the years.

But as it happens with these things, it became something more – a fully-produced and fascinating expansion of the Shearwater sound, channeled through songs by Folk Implosion, Coldplay, and St. Vincent amongst others, as well as one original composition recorded with Sharon Van Etten, with whom they toured last year; one might wonder why they didn’t cover one of her songs, but let’s be honest – they’re not going to top the Tom Petty cover they collaborated on for The AV Club Undercover last Summer.

Fellow Travelers is out next week, but available to stream now via NPR. Further, they’ve announced that they’ll properly support the record by taking time out from recording their next (original) album for a will be embarking on a North American tour which will bring them to The Horseshoe on March 27 – those tickets are $13.50. And to round out the “we’re taking this one seriously, guys” announcements, they’ve released a video for their Xiu Xiu record from said album.

MP3: Shearwater – “Fucked Up Life”
MP3: Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley Oh!”
Video: Shearwater – “I Luv The Valley OH!”
Stream: Shearwater / Fellow Travelers

PopMatters has a stream of Model Rocket, the new album from Rhode Island’s The Brother Kite which I had an inkling was in the works but had no idea was already out (as of last week). As much as I complain about being carpet-bombed by press releases, I wish someone had told me about this!

Stream: The Brother Kite / Model Rocket

Paste has premiered a new video from Beachwood Sparks’ forthcoming release of their previously unreleased debut album Desert Skies. It’s out November 26 and Los Angeles Magazine finds out how and why their next album is 16 years old.

Video: Beachwood Sparks – “Make It Together”

Rolling Stone reports that The Flaming Lips will be releasing their cover of The Stone Roses’ debut album for Record Store Day: Black Friday edition on November 29.

Spectrum Culture gets Tanya Donelly to reflect on her time in Belly; the next and final (?) instalment in her Swan Song Series should be out in early December.

Pernice-Blake-Belitsky supergroup The New Mendicants – at least a supergroup if you’re a fan of Pernice Brothers, Teenage Fanclub, or The Sadies – will release their debut full-length Into The Lime on January 14.

Manchester Evening News, State, Reuters, and entertainment.ie all interview various Pixies; they’ll be kicking off a new North American tour at Massey Hall in Toronto on January 15.

Rolling Stone reports that Uncle Tupelo’s debut album will be getting a double-disc reissue as No Depression: Legacy Edition on January 28, the bulk of the bonus goods coming in the form of the Not Forever, Just for Now demos bootleg that has been kicking around forever; stream one of the new old tracks below.

Stream: Uncle Tupelo – “I Got Drunk” (demo)

Rolling Stone has premiered a new video from Rilo Kiley, taken from their attic-clearing compilation RKives.

Video: Rilo Kiley – “Emotional”

Interview talks to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

NPR welcomes Okkervil River for a World Cafe session.

The Line Of Best Fit has an interview with Widowspeak.

The Cleveland Plains Dealer talks to Chan Marshall of Cat Power.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We Looked Like Giants

Death Cab For Cutie celebrate Transatlanticism‘s 10th with naked baby photos

Photo By Peter EllenbyPeter Ellenby2013 marks the tenth anniversary of all kinds of things – the US invasion of Iraq, Lost In Translation, the passing of both Johnny and June Carter Cash – but also the debut of a television show called The O.C. which hand to god I have never watched but know of because it catapulted one of my then-favourite bands in Death Cab For Cutie from bubbling-under buzz band into bona fide (indie-scale) stars. Well their endorsement, plus the momentum of Ben Gibbard’s other project The Postal Service, and also the release of the band’s most beloved album in Transatlanticism. I personally preferred its predecessor The Photo Album, but a generation of indie kids came of age to this record and so its decade anniversary is almost certainly making a lot of people feel really old right now; my world and welcome to it.

In any case, it’s a milestone that merits commemoration and the band’s former and spiritual home of Barsuk Records is doing so with the re-release of the album on double vinyl, after several years out of print, and as a bonus have released the original demos for the record alongside it. The set of song sketches comes as a download with the LP or can be purchased on its own. Both versions of the record are available to stream right now at NPR before being officially released next week on October 29.

Entertainment Weekly and Consequence of Sound have pieces on why the album endures, and if you’re more about living in the now than the past, Billboard reports that they’re back in the studio working on their next record.

MP3: Death Cab For Cutie – “Title and Registration”
Stream: Death Cab For Cutie / Transatlanticism 10th Anniversary Edition

Another tenth anniversary of a much sadder note came to pass this week; the passing of Elliott Smith a decade ago this week. Tributes abound online, but Pitchfork has assembled an impressive oral history of the songwriter’s career.

Spin has an advance stream of Widowspeak’s new EP The Swamps, which sees official release on October 29. They’re in town at The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Stream: Widowspeak / The Swamps

Paste talks to The Head & The Heart, in town for a show at the Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Matablog has posted a new track from the forthcoming and inevitable deluxe edition of Kurt Vile’s last album Wakin’ On A Pretty Haze: Deluxe Edition (Post Haze), out November 19.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “Feel My Pain”

Tone Deaf chats with James McNew of Yo La Tengo. The deluxe edition of their latest album Fade comes out November 19.

Sub Pop is really emphasizing the “Pop” with the release of a Low/Shearwater split 7″ for Black Friday Record Store Day on November 29; the a-side will feature Low’s already-released Rihanna cover, while the b-side unveils Shearwater’s take on Frank Ocean. Proceeds go to charity, vinyl is limited to 3500 copies, and both tracks will be made available digitally.

Stream: Low – “Stay”

Pixies have released another video from their recent EP-1, which they’re using to justify their show at Massey Hall on January 15.

Video: Pixies – “Andro Queen”

Electronic duo Darkside have released a new video from Psychic; they’re at Lee’s Palace on January 15.

Video: Darkside – “Metatron”

Brooklyn’s Hospitality have announced a January 27 release date for their second album Trouble; check out a trailer for it and check out their 2012 self-titled debut if you don’t know why they’re a good band.

Trailer: Hospitality / Trouble

The reunited Dismemberment Plan continue to be a topic of discussion with MTV Hive, Stereogum, Paste, and The 405, and NYC Taper has posted a recording of their recent Terminal 5 show in New York.

Dean Wareham has released a video from his solo mini-album Emancipated Hearts.

Video: Dean Wareham – “Love Is Colder Than Death”

Jim James has put out another video from his solo record Regions Of Light and Sound Of God.

Video: Jim James – “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)”

DIY talks to Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal.

Will Sheff of Okkervil River talks to The Guardian.

The Big Takeover and examiner.com interview Charlie Hilton of Blouse.

To celebrate their 20,000th Twitter follower, Superchunk have posted an acoustic version of “Breaking Down”, which appears fully electrified on their latest I Hate Music.

Stream: Superchunk – “Breaking Down” (acoustic)

Aquarium Drunkard interviews the Kadane/Johnson/Bazan-powered beast that is Overseas.

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Golden Arrow

Don’t underestimate the power of the Darkside

Photo By Jed DeMossJed DeMossYou’ll probably hear a lot about how cool Psychic – the debut album from Darkside, project of electronic artist Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington – before long, if you haven’t already. Probably about how it moves from baroque classicism to ambient electronica to modern blues to fractured R&B with cinematic pans and wipes, improbably cohesive and unquestionably immersive.

But the coolest thing, by my measure, is how the CD is completely flat black on both sides, even the playing side. You know, the one that’s typically all shiny so as to reflect the laser and which, if you get a fingerprint or heavens forfend a scratch on it, will adversely affect playback. Completely black. No idea how that works. Science, people! Also, yes compact discs are still a thing. And also, yes, I know records are also completely black on both sides. Smart guy.

Darkside have just announced a North American tour for the very start of next year that brings them to Lee’s Palace on January 15; tickets are $25.00 in advance. If you’re not sure of what the live Darkside experience will be like, check out this live video at Resident Advisor and this writeup of a recent London show at DIY. Maybe also grok interviews at Dummy, NPR, New York Times, and Black Book.

MP3: Darkside – “Paper Trails”
MP3: Darkside – “Golden Arrow”

With this week’s release of of Montreal’s latest album Lousy With Sylvianbriar, Rolling Stone and Clash have interviews with Kevin Barnes, Under The Radar gets a track-by-track walkthrough of the record and Aquarium Drunkard has a couple covers recorded in session available to download. Oh, and there’s a new video from the record.

Video: Of Montreal – “Fugitive Air”

With the release this week of their reunion album Uncanney Valley, The Dismemberment Plan is featured in pieces at Consequence Of Sound, Rolling Stone, NPR, Washington City Paper, The Line Of Best Fit, and Spin. They also released a new video from the record but it’s restricted to the US for the time being. If you live there, hit up MTVU. If not, suck it.

Video: The Dismemberment Plan – “Waiting”

MTV Hive interviews The Head & The Heart, whose new record Let’s Be Still dropped this week. They’re here at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Janelle Monáe has released a new Miguel-featuring video for the Miguel-featuring song from The Electric Lady. She plays and almost-certainly non-Miguel-featuring show at The Kool Haus on October 19.

Video: Janelle Monáe – “PrimeTime”

Spin grabbed Widowspeak for a video session during Austin City Limits; they release their new EP The Swamps on October 29 and will be in town at The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Washington DC outfit Deleted Scenes – written about a couple years back – are coming back to town for a show at Sneaky Dee’s on November 7 in advance of a new album coming out in 2014. Exclaim has some specifics and there’s a new song available to stream.

Stream: Deleted Scenes – “Stutter”

Beatroute, Drowned In Sound, Stereogum, and DIY talk to Sleigh Bells. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

The 405 and Yahoo! Australia chat with Lissie; she’s at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21.

The Quietus has premiered the next preview of Shearwater’s forthcoming covers compilation Fellow Travellers November 25, a song originally by labelmated and former tourmates The Baptist Generals.

MP3: Shearwater – “Fucked Up Life”

The Alternate Side welcomes Okkervil River for an interview and session, while NPR puts them behind their Tiny Desk and gets them to play. The Phoenix New Times and The Austin American-Statesman also have interviews.

The 405 talks to Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.

The Fly and Spin talk to Cameron Mesirow of Glasser.

Pitchfork solicits a list of albums that milestoned her life from Neko Case, while The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Refinery 29 are happy with regular old interviews.

Paste has a history of the Elephant 6 collective.

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Blackt Out

Stream of new Lee Ranaldo album declared essential service; continues despite US shutdown

Photo By John Von PamerJohn Von PamerThe United States government may be in shutdown mode over political wranglings, but it’s good to know that both sides of the aisle can agree that the people should be able to hear Last Night On Earth, the new album from once and hopefully future Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo and his new outfit The Dust, which also includes Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley.

Like bandmate Thurston Moore’s extra-cirricular activities in Chelsea Light Moving, Ranaldo’s vocals and guitar style are instantly recognizable and not far off from what he put on display with Sonic Youth, but whereas Moore took the opportunity of shedding expectations to go punker and heavier, Ranaldo goes in the poppier direction, with Night always melodic and downright pretty. But don’t think for a moment that means he’s gone soft – or get within range of his guitar and say so; they’ll set you straight.

Last Night On Earth is streaming now at Clash – you see they went with a UK-based website, just to be sure it was safe – and it’s out officially on October 8. His North American tour gets underway the same day and rolls into The Horseshoe not long after on October 11.

Stream: Lee Ranaldo & The Dust / Last Night On Earth

Clash has an interview with Sleigh Bells while Rolling Stone has an advance stream of Bitter Rivals before its official release next week on October 8. They play The Phoenix on November 13.

Stream: Sleigh Bells / Bitter Rivals

Pitchfork has the advance stream of the new of Montreal record lousy with sylvianbriar, out next week. The Fly talks to frontman Kevin Barnes about the new album.

Stream: of Montreal / Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Aquarium Drunkard talks to The Men about their Campfire Songs EP which comes out October 15. They also play The Horseshoe on October 20.

Buzzfeed has an interview with The Head & The Heart as well as a stream of a new track from Let’s Be Still, out October 15. They’re at The Danforth Music Hall on October 31.

Stream: The Head & The Heart – “Another Story”

Esquire has a video session with The Dismemberment Plan, whose first album in forever – Uncanney Valley – comes out October 15. Billboard and Denver Westword also have interviews with the band.

Frankie Rose, who made her name as drummer for Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls before stepping up as frontwoman and dreampop-leaning solo artist, has been announced as support for Franz Ferdinand at the Kool Haus on October 24. She just released her second album Herein Wild, which she talks to Stereogum and The Village Voice about.

Stream: Frankie Rose – “Street Of Dreams”
Stream: Frankie Rose – “Sorrow”

Widowspeak are streaming a new song that will appear on their The Swamps EP when it comes out October 29. Expect them to have copies for sale when they roll into The Silver Dollar on November 2.

Stream: Widowspeak – “Calico”

Albert Hammond Jr – aka the only Stroke who actually seems to still enjoy being a rock band – will be releasing a new solo EP in AHJ on October 8 and will be in town at The Phoenix on November 10 to play some songs from it, and hopefully some others since there’s only five of them. Tickets $20 in advance.

Stream: Albert Hammond Jr. – “Rude Customer”

Under The Radar has details on a new EP and tour from Denver duo Tennis; their Small Sound extended play will be available November 5 – stream a new song below – and they’ll be at The Garrison on November 10, tickets $16.

MP3: Tennis – “Take Me Somewhere”
Stream: Tennis – “Mean Streets”

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Lou Barlow of Sebadoh, coming to town for a November 8 show at The Horseshoe.

Crocodiles have premiered a new video from their latest album < em>Crimes Of Passion via Stereogum. They play Lee’s Palace on November 19.

Video: Crocodiles – “Teardrop Guitar”

Los Angeles’ Lord Huron has announced an extensive tour for next Winter that stops in at The Danforth Music Hall on February 1, tickets $22.50. Their last release was 2012’s Lonesome Dreams but they might well have a new release out in time for these shows.

MP3: Lord Huron – “The Stranger”

Bob Pollard offers The Utne Reader some life lessons; the next Guided By Voices album Motivational Jumpsuit will be out in late February.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

Stereogum has premiered the new Mary Timony-starring video from Mikal Cronin’s MCII.

Video: Mikal Cronin – “Peace Of Mine”

NYC Taper has posted recordings of Superchunk’s shows at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan last week.

Exclaim reports that New York’s premier Anglo-Japanese shoegaze outfit Asobi Seksu have gone on indefinite hiatus. Thanks for the blown eardrums, guys.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

1000 Answers

The Hives and object lessons in venue relativism

Photo By Tobias SutterTobias SutterThings that are true about live music rooms in Toronto: 1) Everyone hates the Sound Academy, for reasons that don’t really need to be expounded on; 2) a lot of people hate The Phoenix when it represents a tipping point for ascendant acts moving out of clubs and into bigger rooms; 3) a lot of people love The Phoenix when it offers a relatively intimate setting for who might normally play larger rooms but for whatever reason – choice or circumstance – are downsizing.

It’s that third category that I was front of mind yesterday as a batch of concert announcements rolled in. Already scheduled for two dates at The Air Canada Centre supporting Pink on November 30 and December 2, Swedish garage rock heroes The Hives have decided days off are for chumps and have scheduled their own show at The Phoenix for December 1, tickets $29.50. Their last headlining show in support of last year’s Lex Hives was in July 2012 and at The Sound Academy, so their playing a room one-third the size is rather a boon for their fans, at least those who didn’t rush out to buy Pink tickets to see them. Which I would think would include all of them.

Video: The Hives – “Wait A Minute”

New Zealand electro-poppers The Naked & Famous, on the other hand, may be finding out that they’re neither sufficiently naked or famous to fill the Sound Academy as they’ve downgraded their October 14 show in support of their just-released second album In Rolling Waves from there to The Phoenix. Playing the room wasn’t overreaching as their last show in support of their hit debut Passive Me, Aggressive You was there and was their fourth local performance in a year, no less, but kids these days have short attention spans. Remaining tickets for the show are $28.50 in advance. BBC has an interview with the band as does Noisey, along with a stream of the new record.

Video: The Naked & Famous – “Hearts Like Ours”
Stream: The Naked & Famous / In Rolling Waves

When British soul singer Jessie Ware made her local debut at The Opera House in April, it seemed a foregone conclusion that her next visit would be in a much bigger room. And while I won’t suggest that her upwards trajectory has stalled – she and Devotion are just too good to be denied – I was surprised to see that her November 6 show at The Sound Academy had also been downsized to The Phoenix. On the plus side, I already know a few people for whom this show has gone from “ugh” to “ooh”, so it should still be a good and full house when she and The Invisible return to town. Whatever tickets remain for that one are $25 in advance. Interestingly, one of her New York shows on this tour was also downsized from a 3000+ room to a 1000 but a Brooklyn show was also added, so maybe this is as much about the experience as soft sales. Or not. Anyways, if you were on the fence then it’s time to get to a ticket outlet.

Video: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

The Rural Alberta Advantage have been fairly quiet of late, presumably working on a follow-up to 2011’s Departing – their last local show was last Fall with Dan Mangan at The Danforth Music Hall – but they’ll be taking the stage at the Adelaide Music Hall on October 18 as part of Indie Week, which is apparently a thing. You can get in with a festival wristband or paying $25 for an advance ticket.

MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Widowspeak fans dismayed that their only opportunity to see them this Fall was as support for Iron & Wine at The Sound Academy – that place again! – on September 28 will be pleased to know that they’ll be back soon enough in support of their new EP The Swamps, out October 29, for a show at The Silver Dollar on November 2 with Pure Bathing Culture and tickets running a very reasonable $12.50.

MP3: Widowspeak – “The Devil Knows”

Baltimore’s Future Islands haven’t announced anything about a follow-up to 2011’s On The Water, but they’re still hitting the road and will be at The Drake Underground on November 10, tickets $15.50.

MP3: Future Islands – “Before The Bridge”

At some point, the release of Illinois roots-pop artist Lissie’s second album got pushed back a few weeks, but they’ve now committed to both an October 8 street date for Back To Forever as well as a Fall tour to support it. Ms Maurus will be at the Adelaide Music Hall on November 21, tickets for the show $22.50 in advance.

Video: Lissie – “Further Away (Romance Police)”

They may not have been crowned Polaris champs on Monday night, but Young Galaxy can still announce themselves as 2013 shortlisters when they take the stage at The Hoxton on November 22. Not that they would or should; that’s kind of gauche. Tickets for that one are $18 in advance.

Video: Young Galaxy – “Pretty Boy”

If you missed fantastical Swedish synth-pop duo The Deer Tracks when they were here in March – and mathematically, most all of you did – then you can rectify that when they bring their opus The Archer Trilogy back to North America for a victory lap. They’ll be back at The Silver Dollar on November 28.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “W”

His Toronto debut a couple weeks ago having completely sold out even after being upgraded from The Drake to Wrongbar, Archy Marshall – aka King Krule – will bring his album Six Feet Beneath The Moon back as part of a larger tour and will be at Lee’s Palace on December 9, tickets $20. The New York Times has a feature piece on the artist.

Video: King Krule – “Octopus”

Interview, MTV, and Rolling Stone have features on Swedish electro-pop sensations Icona Pop, whose North American debut This Is… Icona Pop is out this week.

MTV Hive, Elle, and Interview chat with Nanna Øland Fabricius of Oh Land, whose new album Wish Bone is also out this week and is available to stream courtesy of The Line Of Best Fit. Esquire also has a video session with the artist, who plays The Great Hall on September 30.

Stream: Oh Land / Wish Bone

Indians have rolled out a new video from their/his debut Somewhere Else.

Video: Indians – “La Femme”

The New Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Electronic Musician have interviews with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds.

Le Blogotheque serves up an Empty Spaces session with Sigur Rós filmed in the catacombs of Paris.

A Heart Is A Spade interviews Kate Boy.