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Posts Tagged ‘YACHT’

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Coco Beware

Caveman, Hospitality, and Volcano Playground at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangIt’s quite possible that people headed out to the Horseshoe on Wednesday night because both halves of the touring bill consisted of New York-based bands with a good head of steam and impressive record label behind them – Caveman, having just signed to Fat Possum and Hospitality preparing to release their debut record very shortly on Merge. Either or both could reasonably emerge as one of the year’s rookie success stories, and who wouldn’t want the bragging rights to say they saw them early on at a little club show? Or it could have been that this was one of the first tours of the young year and folks wanted to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to take in a little live music. In any case, there were a surprising number of folks were out to see a couple of mostly-unknown acts.

Locals Volcano Playground opened things up and some may recall that I’ve felt the space-rock outfit had potential based on a couple live shows. I was pleased to see that their rate of growth as a band between those two shows had continued on – though it had apparently cost them a guitarist at some point along the line – and the style-hopping that marked my earlier impressions had settled into a rhythmically strong and ominously atmospheric aesthetic. Unfortunately, refining their strengths put their weaknesses into starker contrast and their distracted, mumbled vocals and general lack of any kind of stage presence felt more frustrating than they’d been in the past – especially when they prove they can do better, evidenced by the set highlight wherein guitarist/bassist Jackie Game managed to channel Rachel Goswell in a decidedly Souvlaki-esque number. A full-length debut is due out this Spring; fingers are still crossed that it’s a good one.

I went on a bit about Hospitality back in December and as one of the perks of doing what I do, have been enjoying the sprightly, ’80s-echoing but freshly-brewed guitar pop of their self-titled debut for a while even though it’s not out until January 31; had they not been playing, I’d have probably stayed home and slept. What with Amber Papini’s sweetly quirky vocals being such a key facet of their sound, it was a little dismaying that they were buried for the first bit of their set but on the bright side, it did allow one to appreciate the intricacies of their musical arrangements and the twisty guitar interplay between Papini and Nathan Michel as well as bassist Brian Betancourt’s Clean t-shirt – talk about wearing one’s influences. In any case, the mix was sorted out within a few songs, Papini’s voice was again front and centre and balance was restored to the universe and the rest of their spirited set.

My first impressions of Caveman in a live setting was that the complaints I’d had about their debut Coco Beware had been alleviated thanks to the judicious application of volume – it’s hard to fault something for being overly floaty when it’s pounding your eardrums. But while their combination of heavy percussion and echo-driven blooms of guitar were impressive at first, it quickly became formulaic and didn’t do as good a job of distracting from the largely mid-tempo monotony of their material and overall shallowness of their sonic stylings. As with on the record, a few of the songs managed to stand out from their peers, but many of the subtle touches were overpowered by the loud and all told it wasn’t enough to keep me interested. It should be noted that my opinion seemed to be in the minority – the band clearly already had a fanbase hereabouts – but by the time their hour-long set was done, I was mostly just patting myself on the back for having enough self-restraint to not jump onstage and turn off the guitarist’s delay pedal, if only for a moment.

BlogTO was also on hand and has some thoughts.

Photos: Caveman, Hospitality, Volcano Playground @ The Horseshoe – January 11, 2012
MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”
MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Old Friend”
MP3: Caveman – “Decide”
MP3: Caveman – “My Room”
MP3: Hospitality – “Betty Wang”
MP3: Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Waiting”
MP3: Volcano Playground – “Anywhere”
Video: Caveman – “Easy Water”

It’s in support of Adam Cohen, sure, but it’s worth noting that Rachael Yamagata will be in town on February 11 for a show at the Mod Club. Her new record Chesapeake came out last Fall and Spinner had an interview in December.

MP3: Rachael Yamagata – “Starlight”

Sleigh Bells may have pushed back the release of Reign Of Terror a week to February 21, but they’re still going ahead with the tour in support of it, and that now includes a February 18 date at The Phoenix, tickets $25 in advance.

MP3: Sleigh Bells – “Infinity Guitars”

YACHT have set course for a North American tour that brings them and last year’s Shangri-La to Wrongbar on February 23.

MP3: YACHT – “Dystopia (The Earth is on Fire)”

Another new song from Craig Finn’s solo debut Clear Heart Full Eyes is available to stream at Stereogum; the record is out January 24. He also talks food with eater.com.

Stream: Craig Finn – “New Friend Jesus”

A second song from School Of Seven Bells’ third record Ghoststory is available to hear ahead of the record’s February 28 release date.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Lafaye”

The first taste of The Magnetic Fields’ return to synthesizers – Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, out March 6 – is now available to stream. They’re at The Sound Academy on March 30.

Stream: The Magnetic Fields – “Andrew In Drag”

Black Cab Sessions takes Chairlift for a ride while Pitchfork sits them down for a chat. Their Something is out January 24 and they’re at The Horseshoe on March 28.

I-D has a video session with Sharon Van Etten. Her new record Tramp is in stores February 7 and she’s at Lee’s Palace on February 14.

Exclaim reports that The Kills will release a new EP led with Blood Pressures track “Last Goodbye” – for which they’ve just released a video – and b-sided with a trio of covers. The EP is out February 14 and the band is at The Kool Haus on February 7.

Video: The Kills – “Last Goodbye”

LCD Soundsystem hasn’t been in the past tense for very long now, but long enough for there to be a documentary film on the band that will be premiering at Sundance in a couple weeks. It’s called Shut Up And Play The Hits and there’s a trailer.

Trailer: Shut Up And Play The Hits

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

CONTEST – YACHT @ Lee’s Palace – May 2, 2011

Photo By Sarah MeadowsSarah MeadowsWho: YACHT
What: Portland duo steered by Jona Bechtolt who, in fact, have nothing to do with yacht rock but instead craft and austere yet danceable sort of electro-pop.
Why: Their last release was 2009’s See Mystery Lights but this tour will be previewing the June 21 release of their new album Shangri-La.
When: Monday, May 2, 2011
Where: Lee’s Palace in Toronto (19+)
Who else: New Yorker’s Light Asylum will be first mate on this tour.
How: Tickets for the show are $16 in advance but courtesy of Embrace, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away for the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see YACHT” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, April 27.
What else: The Signal and examiner.com have interviews with Bechtolt.

MP3: YACHT – “Dystopia”
MP3: YACHT – “Voodoo City”
MP3: YACHT – “Summer Song”

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Warpath

Esben & The Witch descends on North America

Photo By Adam KolaAdam KolaSo when I saw Esben & The Witch at Lee’s Palace last Fall in support of Foals, I knew little about them beyond that they were from Brighton, that they commissioned a single decidedly creepy video and the that Matador Records would be putting out their debut album, which collectively was more than enough to get me to pay attention. Their set didn’t particularly showcase their songwriting skills, opting instead to spotlight their intensity and murkier, more primal tendencies, but it was compelling enough to get me to defer final judgement until I’d heard what they could do in a studio.

Happily, Violet Cries – out February 8 in North America – makes a good case for their ability to do more than just make a racket. Though they’re certainly capable of melodicism, pop songs are not necessarily their stock in trade – instead, the gothic, atmospheric tumult of their live show remains front and center but with much greater sonic clarity and emphasis on Rachel Davies’ dramatic vocals. It’s nothing like an immediate record and yet holds your attention and that’s about all you can ask.

The band has booked a Spring North American tour that will bring them back to Toronto during Canadian Musicfest and being added to a bill that already includes Anna Calvi and Memoryhouse… well, it looks like Wrongbar will be the place to be on the night of Friday, March 11.

The band have just released a second video from Violet Cries and yes, it too is creepy.

MP3: Esben & The Witch – “Warpath”
Video: Esben & The Witch – “Warpath”
Video: Esben & The Witch – “Marching Song”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Stornoway.

Clash and Spinner talk to former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, though if the BBC interview with bassist Mick Quinn is correct, that “former” qualifier won’t be in place for very long though he’ll have a solo record out soon, either way.

The List talks to Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite. Their new record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is out February 15 and they play The Phoenix on April 26.

Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch discusses his Celestial Cafe memoirs with Drowned In Sound while Matablog has announced the winner of the band’s Write About Love contest.

PJ Harvey talks Let England Shake with Drowned In Sound – the record is out February 15.

Clash has an interview with White Lies. They bring latest Ritual to the Mod Club on January 29.

Baeblemusic is streaming a live show from First Aid Kit while one of the covers they recorded for Jack White’s Third Man Records 7″ series is streaming now at NPR.

Rawkblog recounts a few choice reveals from a phone interview with The Radio Dept. Their Passive Agressive double-set is out next week and they’re at Lee’s Palace on February 7.

Australian duo An Horse will release their second album Walls in April – trade your email address for an MP3 at their website.

NPR has got a World Cafe session with Janelle Monáe available to stream. She’s playing The Indie Awards during Canadian Musicfest on March 12.

That Archers Of Loaf reunion show in North Carolina last weekend? There’s now more video and audio footage to enjoy.

Spin has got another new download from the new Buffalo Tom record Skins as well as a chat with Bill Janovitz and Chris Colbourn.

The last time Pixies were in town was for V Fest 2009 at The Molson Amphitheatre and it was notable for being their last non-Doolittle recital show until… who knows. Point being that the just-announced cross-Canada tour (with some US dates yes) which includes an April 18 stop at Massey Hall will be their Doolittle show… the appeal of which I’ve honestly never understood. In a regular set they play most of Doolittle anyways – after all, it’s not like they’ve been adding new material to their canon since getting back together in 2004. In any case, if you attend expect a completely polished, proficient and somewhat bloodless performance.

Video: Pixies – “Here Comes Your Man”

Portlanders YACHT have made a date at Lee’s Palace on May 2.

MP3: YACHT – “See A Penny (Pick It Up)”
MP3: YACHT – “So Post All ‘Em”

Nicole Atkins’ new record Mondo Amore is almost here – it’s out February 8 – and she’s turned to Kickstarter to help subsidize the upcoming tour, which includes a February 26 show at the Horseshoe. Those with deep pockets can get themselves some sweet-ass rewards, including living room shows, custom songs, haircuts and painted ukuleles. There’s also a video session with Nicole up to enjoy at Livestream.

Low will release their new record C’mon on April 12. Pitchfork has specifics.

Blurt talks to Decemberists bassist Nate Query. They’re at The Sound Academy on February 1.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

All Yr Songs Are Belong To Us

Sony stages Diamond Rings heist

Photo By David WaldmanDavid WaldmanThe tale of Toronto’s Diamond Rings was one of the unexpected little Toronto triumphs of the Summer, what with the electro-glam alter-ego of D’Urbervilles frontman Jon O’Regan releasing a fun video to go with his debut 7″ single, “All Yr Songs”, and having it quickly get not only catch the ear of Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, but also garner title of “Best New Music” by the same tastemaking site, leading to plenty of attention, singles sales and plum opening slots.

The happy tale took an unfortunate turn Wednesday, however, as the YouTube clip – at 50,000 plays and counting – was unceremoniously pulled because of “a copyright claim by Sony BMG Music Entertainment”. This was especially odd considering that the song is an original, sample-free composition and the video, while paying tribute to the aesthetic of early hip-hop videos, was also wholly original. Exactly what the basis for Sony-BMG’s DMCA claim on the clip is unknown, as neither they nor Google are talking, but perhaps they’ve enlisted Gollum as their new head of A&R? Get it? Gollum? Wants the ring? His precious? No? Never mind.

But in all seriousness, this is a lousy situation not only for O’Regan but for video director Colin Medley who, for being the one to have uploaded the clip, has had is account essentially put on notice, being informed that as a YouTube user, he is “not in good standing” and further “strikes may result in the termination of your
account”. That the situation is bullshit is clear; what can be done about it is muddier, though some would advocate a Sony boycott. There are processes in place for appealing DMCA notices and those wheels have been put into motion, but as any music blogger who’s held a Blogspot account – also a Google property – knows, the would-be, presumably benign overlords of the internet aren’t big on communication. Here’s hoping it all gets sorted out sooner rather than later.

Even with this setback, Diamond Rings is still full steam ahead – a new single will be out in the new year, followed but a full-length album, he’s playing the Tranzac New Year’s Eve bender (taking place New Year’s Eve at the Tranzac – duh), opening up for Final Fantasy at the Mod Club on January 12 and will be heading down to Austin for SxSW in March. Sony will have to hire a team of interns to stop him.

NOW talked to O’Regan about the YouTube kerfuffle. You can still watch the video at Vimeo and listen to the tune in both its original form and remixed, if it suits your fancy, and if you see/hear anything that sounds like a crib from a Sony-BMG artist, do speak up. I’m sure the creators would love to find out exactly who they ripped off and how.

Update: Okay, the YouTube clip has been un-banned though no explanation as to why has been given. My completely baseless theory is that it may have mistakenly gotten caught up in some Vevo-related dragnet of material that the labels were seeking to clean up/seize control of. I’ll relay anything else I learn, but the important thing is you can now watch Jon bust a move on the online streaming video platform of your choice.
Update 2: NOW has updated their piece, saying Sony is claiming it was a case of mistaken identity with a Sony artist named Chipmunk who had a song called “Diamond Rings”. Uh-huh.

MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”
MP3: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs” ((GOBBLE GOBBLE’s Wings for Eyeliner remix)
Video: Diamond Rings – “All Yr Songs”

The Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Torontoist, NOW and eye salute Constantines on the occasion of their tenth anniversary as one of Canada’s foremost rock bands. Their series of southern Ontario anniversary shows hits Toronto tonight at Lee’s Palace and continue on there tomorrow and December 19.

Ohbijou are capping off their own terrific year by giving away a free cover of Wham!’s holiday classic, “Last Christmas”. Head over here to grab it.

Woodpigeon have shared the MP3 of a Pink Floyd cover they recorded for a Mojo compilation. I had suggested they do “Run Like Hell”, but no one ever listens to me. Their new record Die Stadt Muzikanten is out January 12.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Mother” (Pink Floyd cover)

The Besnard Lakes’ identity crisis continues – apparently they no longer believe themselves to be The Dark Horse for as of March 9, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night. The new album will be preceded a month earlier with the release of a new single “Albatross” on 12″.

College Times and Austin360 talk to the Rural Alberta Advantage.

The Joy Formidable, who had me scrambling to check airfare prices upon seeing they’re playing four shows in New York at the start of next January (no I’m not going), are getting into the holiday spirit by giving away a free MP3 of a new song just crackling with festive cheer – “My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees”. Now that’s my kind of Christmas carol. I love this band – someone give them tonnes of money so they can tour over here, or give me tonnes of money so I can go see them wherever they play. Actually, let’s just pursue scenario two.

Video: The Joy Formidable – “My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees”

eye has a video interview and The New York Observer a print one with The xx. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20 with Hot Chip, who’ve released a video for the title track from their next album One Life Stand, out February 9.

Video: Hot Chip – “One Life Stand”

Rogue Wave will be at the Mod Club on February 26 to promote their new album Permalight, which will be in stores on March 2.

Electro duo YACHT have set a port of call for Wrongbar on March 4 as part of a cross-Canada tour. Their latest album See Mystery Lights was released earlier this year.

Video: YACHT – “Psychic City (Voodoo City)”

Los Angeles’ Foreign Born and Philadelphia’s Free Energy will be at the El Mocambo on March 9. The former released Person To Person earlier this year, the latter has nothing in tangible form but a nifty digital EP you can get on the interwebs. No, it’s not free. The energy is free, the music is not.

MP3: Foreign Born – “Vacationing People”
MP3: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
MP3: Free Energy – “Free Energy”
MP3: Free Energy – “Something In Common”
Video: Foreign Born – “Early Warnings”
Video: Foreign Born – “Winter Games”
Video: Free Energy – “Free Energy”

Exclaim has details of the second She & Him record, entitled Volume Two (it’s the second volume, y’see?) and out March 23.