Posts Tagged ‘Wooden Sky’

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Strangers On The Street

It’s a veritable Two Hours Traffic jam of concert announcements. Yeah, that was bad. I know.

Photo By David BastedoDavid BastedoSo at this point I may as well just earmark Tuesday posts as concert announcement roundups, Mondays being the busiest day for tour-related press releases and also being the easiest to put together as I wait for a torrent of Bunheads to surface. Shut up, it’s a great show.

First up is Prince Edward Island’s finest power-pop band Two Hours Traffic, now with a slightly altered lineup – guitarist Alec O’Hanley left after 2009’s Territory and can now be found in Always, who’ve gotten a fair bit of ink around here – and a new album in Foolish Blood coming out February 19. Touring machines that they are, they hit the road almost immediately afterwards for a Spring tour that takes them from the Maritimes down to Austin for SXSW, then back up through Toronto for a Canadian Musicfest headlining showcase at Lee’s Palace on March 21, and then across the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan’s Rah Rah will accompany them for most dates of the tour.

Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Last Star”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Amour Than Amis”

Montreal’s The Besnard Lakes step in as the big draw at Lee’s Palace for the Friday night of CMF – March 21 – previewing their new album Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO before it comes out April 2.

MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “Albatross”

March 22 is also the day The Indies – the festival’s bizarro mish-mash of awards ceremony no one really understands and musical bill of some of the fest’s biggest names playing abbreviated sets – goes down, but this year it’s at the Kool Haus rather than the ballroom of the Royal York hotel and the lineup is somewhat more coherent. Metric will headline and the undercard contains the likes of Diamond Rings, Yukon Blonde, The Wooden Sky, and Cadence Weapon. Tickets for that are $49.50. Yup.

MP3: Metric – “Artificial Nocturne”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”
MP3: Yukon Blonde – “Fire”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning”

When Portland’s Parenthetical Girls were last here in April, their series of Privilege EPs had yet to be completed, only getting compiled into 21-song box set form last Fall. On February 19, it gets recompiled into a concise, 12-track album of the same name and gives them an excuse to tour again, this time coming to Double Double Land on March 28.

MP3: Parenthetical Girls – “The Pornographer”

Scottish indie-rock heroes The View will give their new record Cheeky For A Reason – out last Summer in the UK – a North American release on February 13 and have a date at Lee’s Palace on March 29 to promote it. Tickets for that are $15 in advance.

Stream: The View – “How Long”

Pitchfork brings Wavves news; specifically a new album in Afraid Of Heights coming March 26, a stream of a song from said new record, and tour dates in support of it including an April 5 date at The Horseshoe. Accompanying them on this tour are FIDLAR and Cheatahs, both of whom come with their own head of buzzy steam and equal facility for mangling the English language.

MP3: FIDLAR – “Got No Money”
Stream: Wavves – “Demon To Lean On”
Stream: Cheatahs – “The Swan”

The release of Jim James’ solo debut Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is upon us next Tuesday – February 5 – and with that comes and advance stream courtesy of NPR,interviews courtesy of Rolling Stone, CBC Music, and Exclaim, and a North American tour – dates courtesy Pollstar – that includes an April 24 stop at The Phoenix, tickets $26 in advance.

Stream: Jim James / Regions Of Light And Sound Of God

British “can we not call it dubstep” electronic artist James Blake will have a new album out later this year, but first comes a Spring tour built around Coachella that brings him to the Danforth Music Hall on May 4. Tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: James Blake – “To Care (Like You)”

Even though they were here just in December, Marina & The Diamonds have made a return engagement in support of second album Electra Hart and will be at the Sound Academy on May 23 as part of a Spring tour with support coming from next big thing Charli XCX. Tickets for that show are $28.50.

MP3: Charli XCX – “Glow”
Video: Marina & The Diamonds – “How To Be A Heartbreaker”

Crystal Castles also aren’t waiting long to play another local show, but they live here so it’s a little less of an undertaking. Following their release show for III back in November – from which they just released a new video – they’re back at the Sound Academy on June 8 and those tickets are $28.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”
Video: Crystal Castles – “Sad Eyes”

Washington DC punk/hardcore legends Bad Brains put out a new record in Into The Future late last year, and will be here on June 13 at The Phoenix to play some songs from it. And probably some old ones. Almost certainly some old ones. Tickets $30.50.

MP3: Bad Brains – “Pay To Cum”

The Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark reunion continues apace, with a second 21st century album – English Electric – due out April 8 and an accompanying North American tour confirmed. They’ll be at the Danforth Music Hall on July 11, advance tickets $35.

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – “If You Leave”

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Negative Space

This is a bunch of stuff of a Canadian nature. And this is METZ.

Photo By Colin MedleyColin MedleyThis here is another of those posts that, were it a category on Jeopardy, would be called “Potpourri” on account of it being a whole lot of this and that with only the passports of the artists mentioned in common.

And I’ll start with Toronto’s METZ because, well, I haven’t used one of their photos yet and my posting process is really that random. The trio has been making a lot of noise – literally and figuratively – on the back of their self-titled debut, and while it wouldn’t normally be my particular sack of hammers, there’s a clarity to their attack and just enough underlying melody for me to get behind. I’d like to experience one of their legendarily… energetic live shows, but we’ll probably have to wait until at least the Spring as they’re taking their show through Europe for pretty all of the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, there’s a recording of their show at the Knitting Factory in New York last month over at NYC Taper, NPR has just posted video of a KEXP radio session, and the a-side of their new, non-album single is available to stream.

Stream: METZ – “Dirty Shirt”

Exclaim gets a look inside Yamataka//Sonic Titan’s home studio/headquarters and also asks them what they’ve got in mind for their second album. They play 1st Thursday at the Art Gallery Of Ontario this Thursday night, December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit, The Lantern, and The Marquette Tribune interview Patrick Watson, headlining Massey Hall on December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit and The 405 have interviews with Do Make Say Think, who’ve made a track from their live soundtrack to the 1924 film´╗┐ Greed available to download via CBC Music. They’re at The Opera House on December 7.

MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”

Fucked Up have announced the lineup for the second installment of their Long Winter series, taking place December 14 at The Great Hall. They will again headline the event, and be joined by Dusted, Laura Barrett, and many more. Admission is pay what you can.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”

The Wooden Sky have announced details of their third annual Holiday Revue charity show, scheduled for December 17 at The Music Gallery. Tickets for the show are $20 and all proceeds from the event will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank. Support will be announced later this week. Metro talks to frontman Gavin Gardiner.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”

If you were wondering why it’s not been possible to get tickets for the Evening Hymns show at the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15 announced in October, it’s because that show is no longer happening. It has been replaced by one at The Music Gallery on December 20, tickets $17 and available right now via Kelp Records. So the room is still appropriately church-y but it’s also smaller, so if you wanted to go, best get on that. Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula will open up.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

Julie Doiron has scheduled a show at The Horseshoe for January 25 in support of her new album So Many Days. Tickets are $15 in advance. The Vancouver Sun and The Province have profiles.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

The lead single from Suuns’ new album Images Du Futur is now available to download. It’s out March 5.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

AC Newman has a new video from his latest solo record Shut Down The Streets.

Video: AC Newman – “I’m Not Talking”

The Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, and MTV have feature pieces on Diamond Rings, who’s released a live route for an alternate version video from Free Dimensional.

Video: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

Martin Tielli has taken to Facebook to explain his withdrawal from the Rheostatics reunion shows which were to have taken place this week; Radio Free Canuckistan has reposted the message for those who are just fans but maybe not friends of Tielli.

The National Post has an interview with The Dears.

CBC Music gets to know Shad. Again. Some more.

Exclaim has some videos from Bry Webb’s recent Toronto Public Library performance available to watch.

Hooded Fang stops in at DIY for a video session.

Spin interviews Alice Glass of Crystal Castles.

Exclaim asks Chains Of Love about their plans for album number two.

BlogTO chats with Gentleman Reg.

Spinner talks to Neil Young about last night’s Hurricane Sandy benefit in New York.

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

CONTEST – The Wooden Sky @ The Phoenix – December 1, 2012

Photo By Justin BroadbentJustin BroadbentWho: The Wooden Sky
What: Toronto roots-rockers known once upon a time as Friday Morning’s Regret who’ve turned relentless touring and raw-yet-richly refined songcraft into an international following.
Why: Since releasing Every Child A Daughter Every Moon A Sun at the end of February, The Wooden Sky have taken it all across the country and around the world; this last show brings it all back home.
When: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Where: The Phoenix in Toronto (19+)
Who else: Opening up are Wildlife and Fiver.
How: Tickets for the show are $17.50 in advance but courtesy of Collective Concerts, 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 a Wooden Sky” in the subject line and your full name in the body and have that in to me by midnight, November 28.
What else: The Halifax Chronicle Herald and Nelson Star have features on the band from either side of the country, and Secret Sessions have a session with the band from ssshh it’s a secret.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Malibu Rum”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”
MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Angelina”

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Their Helicopters' Sing

Review of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Photo By Yannick GrandmontYannick GrandmontUntil recently, Montréal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor has been inexorably associated with a very certain moment in time, specifically the end of the last century and the dawn of this one. In addition to emerging at a time when post-rock was still an amorphous musical concept which was better felt than explained and Canada was only beginning to take steps towards becoming an international presence as home to exciting new music, Godspeed’s trilogy of albums – F# A#, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, and Yanqui U.X.O. rather perfectly captured the millennial tension of the time. By turns anxious, angstful, and angry, sounding simultaneously beautiful and terrifying, their mysteriousness gave Godspeed a sense of universality that spoke to people without the use of words. So while many were disappointed when the band went on hiatus in 2003, it also felt like a logical thing to do; their moment was ending.

One couldn’t help but wonder how they would have soundtracked the 21st century, though, what with society arguably declining further in disarray and injustice on so many fronts – if they were angry about the state of the world then, surely they’d be furious now. When they unexpectedly returned to action with live performances in 2010, it was mostly with old material that gave a generation of fans who’d only grown up with the legend a taste of what the reality was like. And though unfamiliar compositions did appear in their live sets, the band’s steadfast refusal to do interviews or offer any sort of public comment gave no hint if or when they would do anything further with them. Which, of course, was precisely how they liked it – else they wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of watching a portion of the internet blow up when they announced just last week that their fourth album, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, not only existed but was already available for sale at their live shows and would be out worldwide in a fortnight.

As ever, describing Godspeed remains a largely futile task. At least with the live shows, one could attempt to articulate the visceral experience of being assaulted with sound for night on three hours. Discussing the album, and what its intentions are, is much more difficult. Comprised of two 20-minute compositions and two six-minute drones – provided on vinyl via a 12″ and 7″ intended to be played in alternating sides – it’s unquestionably a Godspeed record from the first moment: a sample of what sounds to be a preacher leading into an electric guitar drone with violin lines dancing overtop, all evocative of a gathering storm.

It’s probably only really relevant to discuss Godspeed in terms relative to Godspeed. From that perspective, ‘Allelujah is surprisingly concise and impressively powerful, condensing the sprawl and swirl of Skinny Fists and eschewing the hazy ambiguity of Yanqui into two focused movements that build steadily and determinedly, but also surprisingly melodically. There’s still plenty of their signature unease, but as the main compositions build, they become more anthemic and, one might almost say, optimistic. Only almost, mind you. To Ascend may be the destination, but ‘Allelujah makes it no easy trip – the two drone pieces might seem superfluous, but really do serve a purpose – “Their Helicopters’ Sing” as base camps of a sort, to regroup and recover, and “Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable” as the view from the summit. Unexpected but wholly welcome, with ‘Allelujah, Godspeed You! Black Emperor prove they not only continue to have their fingers on the pulse of our present, but actually offer some hope for the future.

‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is out next Tuesday, October 16, but available to stream in its entirety right now at Exclaim. And, against all expectation, the band have given an insightful interview to The Guardian about the band, their music, their politics, and their return. The full transcript of the email exchange is damn near poetry. Even the part about being “stoked”.

Stream: Godspeed You! Black Emperor / ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

The impressive demand to see The Weeknd live continues – they’ve added a fourth night at The Sound Academy for November 5, tickets $34.50. The physical release of his three mixtapes – Trilogy – is out November 12, and a new video was recently released.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”
Video: The Weeknd – “Rolling Stone”

Army Girls have announced a November 14 date at The Garrison, tickets $8. Still no sign of those multiple full-lengths we were promised in the Summer, though.

MP3: Army Girls – “Cold & Alcohol”

Quiet for most of this year, Ohbijou will be at Lee’s Palace on December 1, tickets $15. This is a benefit show; specifics are still forthcoming. And tangentially, Ohbijou spin-off Warm Myth has released a new video.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”
Video: Warm Myth – “Working”

Purity Ring have spent most of this year blowing up on the back of their debut Shrines, but really haven’t played a proper Toronto show to capitalize – their last appearances were opening for Dirty Projectors and an undersized NXNE showcase. They’re rectifying that if not soon, but on a large scale, wrapping up a North American tour at The Phoenix on February 1 of next year, tickets $15. The Creator’s Project talks to them about the lightshow that will surely accompany their performance, and they’ve also just released a collaboration of sorts with hip-hop artist Danny Brown.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”
Stream: Purity Ring – “Belispeak” (with Danny Brown)

The Dumbing Of America, The Grid, The Line Of Best Fit, NOW, The Globe & Mail, and Pitchfork all talk to Toronto’s METZ about their self-titled debut, which has spawned a new video and gets a hometown release show at The Horseshoe on Friday night, October 12.

Video: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

Spin and The Winnipeg Free Press talk to Caribou’s Dan Snaith about his Daphni alter-ego and its debut album Jiaolong, out October 16.

Exclaim talk to A.C. Newman, who kicks off the tour for his new record Shut Down The Streets at Lee’s Palace on October 21.

The Guardian has an interview with Neil Young, who has released an epic-length video from Psychedelic Pill, out October 30. He and Crazy Horse play The Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Ramada Inn”

Jenn Grant lists of five of her favourite songs of the last 20 years for CBC Music and also talks to The Edmonton Journal. She’s at The Winter Garden Theatre on November 24.

The Wooden Sky goes over Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun track by track with The Line Of Best Fit. They’re at The Phoenix on December 1.

Snowblink have put out a new video from Inner Classics. Daniela Gesundheit lists off her five favourite albums for The 405 and also chats with The Cornell Daily Sun.

Video: Snowblink – “Goodbye Eyes”

Maisonneuve talks to Alaska B of Yamantaka/Sonic Titan.

The Austin Chronicle profiles Grimes.

Exclaim has details on a new compilation of rarities and being released as a soundtrack of sorts for Have Not Been The Same, the definitive tome of Can-rock in the ’90s. It’s out November 13 and features tracks from Sloan, Doughboys, Skydiggers, and other bands of that vintage, and all proceeds will go to Kids Help Phone.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Time Flies

The Horseshoe turns 65, Joel Plaskett volunteers to jump out of cake five times

Photo By Ingram BarssIngram BarssThere’s been a series of articles The Grid for the past year called Then & Now that has been diligently recording the history of Toronto’s musical history by way of its clubs and venues, many of which have been consigned to history regardless of what legendary acts have sweat upon their stages. It’s truly fascinating reading – especially if you take the time to look up what sort of pedestrian businesses reside at those addresses today – but it’s comforting to know that the odds of The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern ever entering that particular dead pool are slim to none.

The Queen West bar – beloved in the city and renowned internationally as an amazing place to both see and play a show – is marking its 65th year this December, and while the birthday celebrations will last for the better part of the month, one of the main events will run from December 12 to 16, when Can-rock icon and friend to woodland creatures Joel Plaskett sets up shop for five nights, including an all-ages throw-down on the final day – hey, even kids love Joel Plaskett. If this all sounds familiar, it may be because he did the same thing back in 2007 for the ‘Shoe’s 60th birthday, playing one of his albums in its entirety each night for six straight nights. It’s not clear if there’s going to be any sort of theme for these shows – one would think there has to be some way that they’re going to be distinguished from each other – but whatever it is, you know it’s going to be a good time. Tickets range from $25 to $29.50 per show and go on sale this Thursday.

MP3: Joel Plaskett – “When I Go”

Also making a date at The Horseshoe are Montreal’s Malajube; their last release La Caverne came out last year, but they’ll be in town on November 24, tickets $15.

MP3: Malajube – “Synesthésie”

The Toronto Public Library’s Make Some Noise program is back, and they’ll be bringing Bry Webb to the Parkdale branch on October 26 to play some songs from Provider, which was just released in the US today. That show is free and starts at 8PM.

MP3: Bry Webb – “Rivers Of Gold”

Fans of art and music (which is also art, yes, let’s not get pedantic) may be interested in the 1st Thursdays series at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which kicks off this Thursday, October 4, with a performance from Bahamas; he just released a new video from Barchords.

Video: Bahamas – “Lost In The Light”

Bruce Peninsula vocalist Misha Bower has just released a book of short stories entitled Music For Uninvited Guests, and it comes with musical accompaniment in the form of a mixtape of music from her various projects and a new song, which is streamable. There’s a book launch/concert on October 11 at the Great Hall which will feature performances from Doug Paisley, Simone Schmidt, Sean Donald and some of Bruce Peninsula.

Stream: Misha Bower – “I’m All About”

Toronto’s METZ may sound all rough and tumble – and hella loud – on their self-titled debut, but they’ve got some fancy friends. To wit, this feature piece in The New Yorker by no less than Sasha Frere-Jones, accompanied by a stream of the entire thing. The piece at Exclaim is fine too, I guess. The album is out next Tuesday and the band plays a hometown release show for it at the Horseshoe on October 12.

MP3: METZ – “Wet Blanket”
MP3: METZ – “Headache”
Stream: METZ / METZ

AC Newman’s new solo record Shut Down The Streets has apparently inspired a short film. It’s out October 9, he brings it to Lee’s Palace on October 21, and he talks to Chronogram about it. Update: And now the album is streaming at Pitchfork.

Video: Want You To Know
Stream: AC Newman / Shut Down The Streets

So there’s a new Godspeed You! Black Emperor record coming, their first in a decade. ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is out October 16 though physical copies are already on sale at their shows. Big news, short blurb. What, did you expect a series of making-of YouTube vids starring Efrim? No. The record exists. The end.

Caribou’s Dan Snaith will release Jiaolong, his first record under the alias of Daphni, on October 16 but it’s now streaming in whole over at Resident Advisor.

MP3: Daphni – “Ye Ye”
Stream: Daphni / JIAOLONG

Dan Mangan will have something new to go with his Fall tour that brings him to the Danforth Music Hall on October 25 – the “Radicals” 7″ single will be out October 16 and feature a new song on the A-side and a Yukon Blonde cover on the flip. Stream the former and watch a video for the latter now.

Stream: Dan Mangan – “We Want To Be Pleasantly Surprised, Not Expectedly Let Down”
Video: Dan Mangan – “Stairway”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have released a video from their new record Island Of Echoes, which they bring to Trinty-St. Paul’s on October 26.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Morning Sun”

NPR has an interview with Neil Young and Spin offers some choice excerpts from his new memoirs Waging Heavy Peace. His new album with Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill, is out October 30 and they play The Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Crystal Castles have confirmed a November 6 release date for their new record (III) and to mark the occasion, have made a new track from it available to download. They play The Kool Haus on November 3.

MP3: Crystal Castles – “Wrath Of God”

Beatroute, The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and The Regina Leader-Post talk to Jenn Grant about her new record The Beautiful Wild, which came out last week and has been streaming at Exclaim, along with a new video. She’s at The Winter Garden Theatre on November 24.

Video: Jenn Grant – “In The Belly Of The Dragon”
Stream: Jenn Grant / The Beautiful Wild

The Wooden Sky have released a new video from Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun. They’re at The Phoenix on December 1.

Video: The Wooden Sky – “I’m Your Man”

CBC Music reports that Chad Van Gaalen is working on a full-length animated science fiction feature which he’s called Tarbox. Yeah, that won’t be weird at all.

Spanish site Vigopolis has got a video session of Basia Bulat playing a new song, so if you were wondering what Basia was doing – she’s in Spain playing new songs for Spanish websites. And giving interviews in Spanish. Because why wouldn’t she.

Spinner talked to Vancouver’s You Say Party, who officially returned to active duty this weekend at PBR10.

CBC Music talks to Snowblink.

Michael Barclay of Radio Free Canuckistan givs Macleans as detailed a description as he’s allowed of how things went down in the Polaris grand jury room last Monday such that Feist was allowed to walk away champion.