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Posts Tagged ‘Winter Gloves’

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

CONTEST – Paper Bag Records 10th Anniversary @ The Great Hall – September 28, 2012

Image via PBRPaper Bag RecordsAs previously reported, Toronto’s Paper Bag Records is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and they’re doing it with a three-night run of shows at The Great Hall featuring performances from much of their active roster. And though it’s their birthday, they’re the ones offering the gifts.

You may have seen the giveaways run at Quick Before It Melts and Soft Signal for prize packs consisting of label goodies and passes to the Thursday and Saturday nights respectively, and wondered where the Friday night one was – well wonder no more, it’s right here.

Courtesy of Paper Bag, I’ve got one prize pack consisting of:

– A pair of tickets to see The Rural Alberta Advantage, Cuff The Duke, PS I Love You, and Slim Twig at The Great Hall on September 28 – note that this is a 19+ show.
– A special PBR10 t-shirt and commemorative poster
Exercises by CFCF LP
Days Into Years by Elliott Brood LP
All Red by Winter Gloves LP
Contempt! by Slim Twig LP
PS I Love You/Diamond Rings “Leftovers” 7″ single

Not bad, eh? To enter, leave a comment on this post naming your favourite Paper Bag artist and release from the past decade, and be sure to include your email as that’s how the winners will be contacted. By email. Contest is restricted to folks in the Toronto area – you gots to go to the show – and closes at midnight, September 15.

Tickets for the shows are available from direct from Paper Bag.

MP3: Cuff The Duke – “Standing On The Edge”
MP3: Elliott Brood – “Northern Air”
MP3: PS I Love You w Diamond Rings – “Leftovers”
MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Stamp”

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Follow Me Into The Hills

Review of Kathryn Calder’s Are You My Mother?

Photo By Caleb ByersCaleb ByersIt’s been a half-decade since Kathryn Calder joined The New Pornographers in 2005, and in that time she’s gone from handling the impossible task of pinch-hitting on tours for Neko Case to appearing on their last three albums and becoming an as integral part of the band – her parts may not have the force of personality as Case’s, but her more delicate approach offers an important contrast and gives Carl Newman another invaluable tool in assembling his power pop symphonies. But prior to joining the Pornographers, Calder had her own creative outlet in Immaculate Machine and while she retains a membership card for the Victoria-based band, she’s largely ceded that outfit to guitarist Brooke Gallupe. Which basically meant that a solo album was pretty much an inevitability, but that doesn’t make Are You My Mother? any less of a surprise.

My experience with Calder as a songwriter goes back as far as the first couple Immaculate Machine records and while they were decent enough pop records, they weren’t particularly exceptional within the realm of Canadian indie. The years of apprenticing to Carl Newman have clearly paid off, however, as Mother is a remarkably fully-realized solo debut, and while it features plentiful contributions from various Pornographers and other Vancouver-based musicians, Calder is clearly in the driver’s seat throughout. One might be forgiven for assuming that given her role as singer and keyboardist in the Pornographers, Calder solo might turn out a record of singer-songwriter-oriented girl-and-piano material. And while at its quieter moment Mother does strip things down to just that, numbers like album opener “Slip Away” and the barreling “Castor And Pollux” are as grandiose pop as anything the New Pornographers might create and just as instantly memorable. Mother is rangy and engaging, built around Calder’s crystalline, pitch-perfect yet expressive voice and perhaps more importantly, her impressive songwriting chops.

The New Pornographers are frequently called a “super-group”, implying that each of their members are as equally accomplished on their own as they are in the band – with Are You My Mother?, Kathryn Calder steps up and makes that even more true.

MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Arrow”
MP3: Kathryn Calder – “Slip Away”
Video: Kathryn Calder – “Slip Away”
MySpace: Kathryn Calder

If you missed North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees when they played a free show here back in June (which I previewed but did not manage to attend), they’re back on September 27 at the Drake Underground in support of Mercury shortlisted Irish act Villagers. They’ve also got a new Daytrotter session up for grabs.

MP3: Lost In The Trees – “Fireplace”
MP3: Lost In The Trees – “All Alone In An Empty House”

Winter Gloves will mark the September 7 release of their second album All Red with an acoustic in-store performance at Kops Records that same night at 5:30PM.

MP3: Winter Gloves – “Plastic Slides”

Toronto power-pop aficionados The Golden Dogs will follow up their September 17 show at the Drake Underground with a September 23 in-store performance at Soundscapes at 7PM. Their new record Coat Of Arms came out last month.

MP3: The Golden Dogs – “Permanent Record”

The Great Hall will certainly be the scene of mayhem on October 12 when the tour teaming Lightning Bolt and Dan Deacon hits Toronto. Those wanting to be out of the line of fire can take refuge on the stage because neither performer will be setting up there.

MP3: Lightning Bolt – “Colossus”
MP3: Dan Deacon – “Get Older”

LA duo No Age will be releasing their second album Everything In Between on September 28 and have announced an extensive Fall tour to support – the Toronto date comes November 18 at the Polish Combatants Hall.

MP3: No Age – “Glitter”

The Toronto Star talks to Peelander Yellow of Peelander-Z, in town to make things silly at the Velvet Underground on September 1 and The Silver Dollar on September 2.

Spinner talks to Lissie about the attention her penchant for covers has gotten her and her debut album Catching A Tiger; The Independent also has a feature. She’s at the El Mocambo on October 19.

Spinner talks to Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino and Black Book solicits a list of the band’s favourite NYC hang outs. The band’s self-titled effort will be out September 7 and they’ve just released a second video from it.

Video: Interpol – “Barricade”

Ted Leo talks to Billboard about the making of the off-off-off-off-Broadway video for “Bottled In Cork”.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with LCD Soundsystem.

The Guardian salutes 4AD on the occasion of the legendary label’s 30th anniversary.

And a note to folks in Toronto that if you’re looking for something to do of the cinematic variety this week, you could do much worse than to check out No Heart Feelings at the Royal, where it’s screening through Thursday of this week. It’s a romantic comedy (but not really a rom-com) set in an eminently familiar Toronto from three local first-time directors and though imperfect – it suffers from the atmosphere-and-dialogue-in-lieu-of-plot vagueness that’s all too common in independent film – it’s still a winner thanks to its charm and authenticity (though I don’t do as much in and around the city nearly as much as their characters do, I have no problem believing that people actually DO these things and that I’m really just a shut-in). Don’t take my word for it, check out positive reviews in The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star and The National Post.

Trailer: No Heart Feelings

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Canadian Musicfest 2010 Day Two

Think About Life, The Acorn, Plants & Animals and more at Canadian Musicfest

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangConsidering that snow and slush are far more typical environmental hazards for Canadian Musicfest’s timing, complaining about rain that accompanied the unseasonable warmth the last couple days seems ungrateful. And yet, standing in line to get into Lee’s Palace in the freezing drizzle Friday night, I could only take solace in the fact that this would be my one and only stop for the evening. But I would certainly be having words with this “chromwaves” fellow whom festival literature said was presenting the show along with the Billions booking agency. I bet he’s a tool.

The short gap between doors and the first act meant that Montreal’s Winter Gloves were on stage before my shoes had dried, and if anyone had been hoping to be eased gently into the evening’s entertainment… not going to happen. Winter Gloves came out hard, fast and loud with synth-rock from their debut About A Girl and while the album had only rated an “alright” to my ears, the live experience was much more engaging and enjoyable and, consequently, has prompted me to revisit the record. And encourage SxSW-ers to swing by the Paper Bag Records showcase I’m co-presenting this week to check them out. March 17 at Speakeasy, they’re on at midnight. End plug.

Photos: Winter Gloves @ Lee’s Palace – March 12, 2010
MP3: Winter Gloves – “Let Me Drive”
MP3: Winter Gloves – “Someone Great”
MP3: Winter Gloves – “All Red”
Video: Winter Gloves – “Let Me Drive”
Video: Winter Gloves – “Piano 4 Hands”

If Winter Gloves took their synths to the rock end of the spectrum, sole Toronto act on the bill Russian Futurists steered theirs towards the pop. And while their stage presence paled in comparison to the act they followed – Matthew Adam Hart subscribes to the “stand there as still as possible” school of frontmanship – the band were clearly pleased to be able to bust out new material from their forthcoming album The Weight’s On The Wheels and their indelibly melodic tunes carried the set. A little more on-stage activity wouldn’t have been unappreciated, but what can you do.

Photos: The Russian Futurists @ Lee’s Palace – March 12, 2010
MP3: The Russian Futurists – “Paul Simon”
Video: The Russian Futurists – “Paul Simon”
MySpace: The Russian Futurists

Any of the next three bands could easily have been tapped as headliner for the night, but The Acorn arguably took the stage with the most anticipation, at least from me. I hadn’t seen them play since late 2008 and in the interim, they’d gone into hiding to write and record their new record No Ghost, which should be out around June. So while the occasion of their return was a happy one, it also became bittersweet when midway through their set, frontman Rolf Klausner announced that guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Howie Tsui would be leaving the band after their show in Kingston the next night to concentrate on his visual arts career. Anyone who’s seen the Acorn live knows how essential Tsui’s contributions are to their sound, so whomever they get to take his place has some mighty big shoes to fill; a fact reinforced with this show as the band showed off some of their new material while busting out old favourites as well. The new songs sound as though they’ve taken the sounds and lessons learned from the Central American-inflected Glory Hope Mountain and brought them back to the northern hemisphere, including the second drummer added for touring said record – those who came to the band via their early EPs would be (pleasantly) surprised at how potent a rhythmic machine The Acorn are today. And Klausener’s between-song banter has also gotten a lot better. Thankfully.

Photos: The Acorn @ Lee’s Palace – March 12, 2010
MP3: The Acorn – “The Flood, Pt 1”
MP3: The Acorn – “Crooked Legs” (live on XM)
MP3: The Acorn – “Blankets”
MP3: The Acorn – “Plates & Saucers”
MP3: The Acorn – “Darcy”
Video: The Acorn – “The Flood, Pt 1”
Video: The Acorn – “Crooked Legs”

The thing about having your name attached to a show is that it tends to imply an endorsement of every act on the bill. I had tried to get into Montreal’s Plants & Animals with their debut Parc Avenue, which so many people I know and respect seemed to love, but just couldn’t do it. There was a hippie/jam band vibe about it that I just couldn’t get behind, so that their performance on this evening quite nearly tore my face off was just a bit of a surprise. Their musical prowess has never been in doubt, but funneled through an immensely loud and sweaty 40-minute set of classic rock-styled, arena-sized jams… well, you would have to hate rock to not be impressed. And I do not hate rock. I can’t say that I’ll like their second record La La Land more than the first when it comes out on April 20 – what wows me on stage doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be as interesting coming from my speakers – but I’ll certainly be giving it more of a chance than I would have prior to Friday night. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Photos: Plants & Animals @ Lee’s Palace – March 12, 2010
MP3: Plants & Animals – “Tom Cruz”
Video: Plants & Animals – “The Mama Papa”
Video: Plants & Animals – “Feedback In The Field”

Post-Plants & Animals, the room – which had been at capacity for the last few hours – began to clear out a bit. Reasonable, since many had probably been there since doors at 8:30 and subways were going to stop running before long. Reasonable, but unfortunate since leaving Lee’s then would have meant missing Think About Life, another band whom I’d done an almost 180 on since first hearing them. I had dismissed their self-titled debut as being too messy for my tastes, but after seeing them and the glorious dance-party explosion that is their live show in Summer 2008, I was more than happy to elevate them to “at least they’re buckets of fun live” status. Then last year’s Family proved that they were an outfit capable of capturing much of that live energy on record while further honing their songwriting into a more focused yet no less rocking disco-soul monster. In short, they appeared to have become the band that their fans had been insisting they were from the get-go.

After some technical delays, they took the stage looking a bit different from when I saw them last – guitarist/electronics-wrangler Graham Van Pelt and manic frontman Martin Cesar were still there, but drummer Matt Shane had been replaced and they had a new bassist in Caila Thompson-Hannant, whom I recognized from her stints in Miracle Fortress and Shapes & Sizes. Adopting a more conventional live band configuration would prove to be a wise move, though, as they sounded even better and more vital than they did the last time I saw them, Thompson-Hannat’s vocals in particular adding a welcome dimension to their sound. Energy-wise, they were as tremendous as before though the larger environs of Lee’s didn’t allow for quite the audience mosh action that Sneaky Dee’s did. Cesar did leap into the crowd towards the end of the set to spread some sweat around but at no point in the show did I fear for my life. Which should probably be considered a good thing, but I was still a bit disappointed – not in the show, the show was great, just in that I never felt compelled to run for cover.

Photos: Think About Life @ Lee’s Palace – March 12, 2010
MP3: Think About Life – “Nueva Nueva”
MP3: Think About Life – “Sweet Sixteen”
Video: Think About Life – “Havin’ My Baby”
Video: Think About Life – “Sweet Sixteen”
Video: Think About Life – “Paul Cries”

Apologies to The Uglysuit for not sticking around for their show-closing set. By 2AM, I was out of fumes to run on and had to hightail it for home. I promise that every effort will be made to see you this week in Austin.

Spinner interviews The Coast.

The Wooden Sky talks to Torontoist.

CBC has an interview with The Rural Alberta Advantage, who won the Galaxie Rising Star award at the Indies on Saturday night. Yeah, I’m not sure what that means either. But congratulations.

Emily Haines of Metric eulogizes Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse at eye.

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Heart Of Gold

Chromewaves co-presents Paper Bag Records showcase at SXSW 2010

Photo By Todd DuymTodd DuymI can appreciate that relations between Canada and the United States might be a bit strained today, following last night’s Olympic men’s hockey gold medal game – or at least between Canada and the dozen or so Americans who care about hockey – but perhaps this gesture of musical ambassadorship will help ease tensions a little bit.

When I head down to SxSW each year, going to see Canadian acts is usually near the bottom of my list of things to do. Not because it’s not worthy of my attention – far from it – but living in Toronto, I get more than my share of opportunities to see the best of Canadian talent so to fly all the way down to Texas to see those same acts seems… inefficient. But that in no way, shape or form means that I don’t heartily endorse those who aren’t so fortunate as to live in one of the major hubs of Canadian music to take the Sx opportunity to see said acts – so with that in mind, I’m very pleased to be co-presenting the official Paper Bag Records showcase at SxSW this year.

The show will kick off at 8PM with Montreal’s CFCF, though he’ll be handling DJ duties rather than performing pieces from his album Continent. Then it will be the one non-PBR act on the bill, Toronto’s choral-gospel blues choir Bruce Peninsula at 9PM, followed by Montreal electro-pop outfit Winter Gloves at 10PM. Toronto lo-fi rock outfit Little Girls showcases their debut Concepts at 11 and then it’s an all-out electro-rock dance party to wind things out, first with Woodhands and their latest Remorscapade at midnight and Vancouver’s disco-rock heroes You Say Party! We Say Die!, who are finally allowed back into the US following some immigration misunderstandings a few years ago, just in time for them to introduce their latest xxxx to America. Update: Well, my description on how the night will arc won’t be quite right – some set times have moved around, and it will now go: CFCF @ 8, BP @ 9, LG @ 10, WH @ 11, WG @ 12, YSPWSD @ 1. Everything else remains true.

To those headed to Austin in mid-March, the Paper Bag showcase will be taking place on Thursday, March 18 at Speakeasy, located at 412 South Congress Ave at West 5th St. And to those not, some/all of the acts on the bill may be coming to you. YSP!WSD! are making the most of their US visas with dates all over America through March before coming back to Canada including an April 2 date at the Horseshoe. Woodhands are crossing the continent through April, including a hometown show at the Opera House on March 13. Bruce Peninsula are making a couple of US stops en route to Austin and have a handful of Ontario dates in the Spring, including a March 25 show at The Garrison. YSP!WSD! are featured are Blogcritics and Sentimentalist. Uptown and See talk to Woodhands.

MP3: You Say Party! We Say Die! – “Laura Palmer’s Prom”
MP3: Woodhands – “Dissembler”
MP3: Little Girls – “Growing”
MP3: Winter Gloves – “Factories” (alternate)
MP3: Bruce Peninsula – “Crabapples”
MP3: CFCF – “Monolith”

Also noteworthy on the SxSW front is a day show taking place on Thursday, March 18 at the Flamingo Cantina on East 6th St at Red River and co-presented by Team Clermont and my associates at MBV Music. That show, which kicks off at noon, will feature Venice Is Sinking, Jeremy Jay, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Jookabox, Dengue Fever and Califone. Plus a special guest headliner whom, if it’s who I’ve heard it might be, will be a hell of a finish. So yeah, drop by. Have a drink. It’ll be a good time.

MP3: Califone – “Funeral Singers”
MP3: Dengue Fever – “Sober Driver”
MP3: Jookabox – “You Cried Me”
MP3: Collections Of Colonies Of Bees – “Flocks 1”
MP3: Jeremy Jay – “Breaking The Ice”
MP3: Venice Is Sinking – “Compass”

Okay, back to now and not Spring Break. There’s a new video available from Love Is All’s forthcoming Two Thousand and Ten Injuries, out March 23. They’re at the Horseshoe on April 3.

Video: Love Is All – “Kungen”

jj have a new video for the first single from No 3, due out March 9. They’re at the Phoenix on April 4.

Video: jj – “Let Go”

To anyone curious as to what Jonsi has in store for his two night stand at the Sound Academy on April 30 and May 1, check out this video about the making of his stage set. His solo debut Go is out March 23.

Ca Va Cool interviews Shout Out Louds. They play The Mod Club on May 8.

The Hamilton Spectator has a feature piece on Owen Pallett, who plays the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on April 8.

Volume 8 of The Line Of Best Fit’s Oh! Canada mixtape series is now up for grabs.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Set You On Fire

Chromewaves co-presents Billions showcase at Canadian Musicfest 2010

Photo By Yannick GrandmontYannick GrandmontIt’s a bit eerie, but with the exception of an in-store in a couple weeks, details noted further down, I’ve got nothing going on in the way of live music for more two weeks until Canadian Musicfest starts on March 11. And that’s really just fine with me, because the double-shot of CMW/CMF and SxSW was exhausting when I was a younger man – these days, I am going to need the downtime to rest up in order to survive that gauntlet of concert-going, airport-hopping and breakfast taco-eating.

And to help minimize the impact of club-hopping during CMF, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be co-presenting the Billions showcase at Canadian Musicfest, taking place March 12 at Lee’s Palace, meaning that not only will I be able to associate myself with a super-solid lineup of Canadian acts (and one foreign one), I’ll be able to plant my ass in one place all night. Made of win.

The decidedly Montreal/synthpop-heavy lineup kicks off at 9PM with electro-poppers Winter Gloves, still riding the wave of their 2009 debut About A Girl, then Toronto’s Russian Futurists will preview their new album The Weight’s On The Wheels, out this Summer, at 10PM. At 11PM, The Acorn, having been squirreled away for the last while working on their new record No Ghost, will come of hiding to show off what to expect when the album arrives in or around May. Plants and Animals, whose new record La La Land arrives April 20, will take the stage at the stroke of midnight and then come 1AM, Think About Life will have you thinking about both having a disco-punk dance party and how not to get killed by getting caught in the middle of a disco-punk dance party soundtracked by last year’s Family. And, if you’re still standing after all that, Oklahoma ‘s The Uglysuit will usher in last call with the beautiful orch-pop of their 2008 self-titled debut. That is, unless Lee’s has also got 4AM extended drinking hours during Canadian Music Week. You’d think I’d know this but odds are I’ll have dragged myself home well before whether or not the taps are still flowing are an issue.

So while there’s options a-plenty for CMW/CMF – the schedule has really filled out the last few days and I’ll be doing a further preview closer to the festival’s start – I humbly submit that if you’re looking for a one-stop smorgasbord of tunes for Friday night, that Lee’s will be the place to be. And to help make up your mind, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away for the show – to enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to Think About Canadian Music Week” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes midnight, March 5.

MP3: Winter Gloves – “Let Me Drive”
MP3: Russian Futurists – “Paul Simon”
MP3: The Acorn – “The Flood, Pt 1”
MP3: Plants & Animals – “Tom Cruz”
MP3: Think About Life – “Nueva Nueva”
MP3: The Uglysuit – “Chicago”

Ca Va Cool and Chart talk to Jace Lasek of The Besnard Lakes about their new album The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night, out March 9. They headline the Thursday night of the Chart showcases at the Horseshoe for Canadian Musicfest on March 11, taking the stage at 12:10AM. As is always the case with the ‘Shoe during CMW/CMF/whatever, early arrival is recommended/mandatory.

Same goes for Two Hours Traffic, who are on at the same time on the Saturday night, March 13. But if you don’t get in and need a dose of maritime power-pop, note that they’ll be back on April 3 for a show at Lee’s Palace, tickets $13.50. They’ve also released a new video from their Territory record.

Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Noisemaker”

Chart talks to Paul Banwatt of The Rural Alberta Advantage and Woodhands about how he manages to balance drum duties in two bands, simultaneously blowing up right now. Woodhands are playing the Opera House on March 11 and the RAA at the Indie Awards at the Royal York on March 13. Vue has a feature piece on Woodhands and The RAA have been keeping a tour blog of their journey out west for the Olympics at Exclaim.

The Indie Awards will also feature a performance from Constantines, whose Daytrotter session went up for grabs last week and taught QTV how to play “Young Lions” on guitar.

Also offering a QTV a guitar lesson is Woodpigeon’s Mark Hamilton, who teaches them – and the whole internet – to play “Knock Knock”. The Concordian and Ottawa Citizen also have interviews with Hamilton.

The Montreal Gazette talks to Stars, whose presently untitled new album is apparently set for release in the first half of 2010.

Broken Social Scene have revealed the final details about their forthcoming album – Forgiveness Rock Record, their first proper album in almost half a decade, will be out on May 4 and you can get the first MP3 from the album, a 7-minute sprawler called “World Sick”, in exchange for your email at their website. Broken Social Scene plays the Toronto Islands on June 19.

The other big May 4 release from a Canadian supergroup is, of course, Together from The New Pornographers. The first MP3 from the album has been made available and is the almost-title track from the album.

MP3: The New Pornographers – “Your Hands (Together)”

Chart talks to Zeus, whose Say Us gets a release this week and is streaming until March 1 over at Exclaim. They’ve also scheduled an in-store at Soundscapes for 6PM on March 6 and will play Lee’s Palace on March 10.

MP3: Zeus – “Marching Through Your Head”
Stream: Zeus / Say Us

Canadian Interviews talk to Basia Bulat.

Thick Specs interviews Julie Doiron. Her current project Daniel, Fred & Julie, featuring Doiron, Attack In Black’s Daniel Romano and former Shotgun & Jaybird-er Fred Squire will bring their self-titled debut to the Horseshoe on April 15.

MP3: Daniel, Fred & Julie – “The Gambler And His Bride”

Anyone wondering about the set list for Fucked Up’s show at the Opera House this Friday need look no further than the back cover of The Chemistry Of Common Life – the band will be playing their breakout record in its entirety. And probably some more stuff on top of that.