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Posts Tagged ‘Yeasayer’

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Heard The News

Guards, Mates Of State, and other support acts elevated to blog post headline status

Photo By Olivia MaloneOlivia MaloneSome weeks, the inbox is a veritable cornucopia of interesting concert announcements for acts big and small. Compiling the blog posts that collect those up is a genuine delight. And easy. Generally so easy. This was not one of those weeks. Indeed, most of the news was of the “support announced” variety, which isn’t necessarily uninteresting – sometimes it’s more interesting than the headliner – but it is less easy.

Anyways, we’ll kick off with New York’s Guards, who will be supporting Palma Violets at Lee’s Palace on May 3. They’re fronted by one Richie Follin, whose did time in Cults with sister Madelin and also worked with Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, and while either of those reference points are probably enough to garner attention, the sun-kissed, retro-styled power pop of their debut album In Guards We Trust, released in February, are far more in line with the former than the latter. It’s not revolutionary by any measure, but it is well-executed and likeable.

The Bay Bridged has an interview with Richie Follin.

MP3: Guards – “Silver Lining”
MP3: Guards – “Crystal Truth”
Video: Guards – “Ready To Go”
Video: Guards – “Silver Lining”

It’s a bit of an odd pairing, but throwback jangle-poppers DIIV will be supporting Trent Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels at The Sound Academy on April 25. They were also here in December supporting Japandroids, but I’m sure there’s enough fans of Oshin that a headlining show – which they last did in September – would also be welcome.

MP3: DIIV – “Sometime”

Not that Titus Andronicus need any help drawing a crowd, but their May 2 date at Lee’s Palace announced last week just got a boost regardless with the announcement that they’re being joined by Brooklyn’s So So Glos for what they’re calling the “Bring Back The Dudes” tour – which will be a pretty apt description of the demographic at the show. Their new record Blowout is out April 23 and there’s an interview at The L.

Video: So So Glos – “My Block”

Some bands worry about announcing multiple upcoming dates in a given market out of fear that one show may cannibalize ticket sales from the other; Ra Ra Riot clearly do not. They spent most of the lead up to their early March headlining show for Beta Love with their name also on posters for the Arts & Crafts Field Trip festival at Garrison Common on June 8, and now they’ve also announced that they’ll also be in town a couple weeks prior to that supporting The Shins at The Sound Academy on May 22. I don’t know if there are Ra Ra Riot fans so dedicated to hit up every one of their local shows, but if so, they’re probably pretty happy.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”
MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Dance With Me”

Ra Ra Riot will also be opening up some of the dates on the upcoming Postal Service tour, but not Toronto – according to the itinerary released yesterday, we’ll have Mates Of State opening up at the Air Canada Centre on June 11 and that’s a-ok with me, though I can’t say I wouldn’t love to see peoples’ faces when Big Freedia shakes what she’s got on those west coast dates.

MP3: Mates Of State – “Maracas”
MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”

And in headlining announcements – Spencer Krug will appear as Moonface in a solo piano context on May 12 at The Great Hall in something called The Conversation Room. I don’t know what/where that is, but I kind of hope it’s like The Champagne Room. Tickets are $16.50 and there is probably no sex.

MP3: Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”
MP3: Moonface – “Headed For The Door”

One of the buzzier bads at CMF this year were German electro-pop duo BOY, and those who missed out on their shows will be pleased to know they’re back in town at The Great Hall on May 16 in support of their debut Mutual Friend. Tickets for that are $17.50.

Video: BOY – “Little Numbers”

I could be wrong but I don’t think Richard Buckner has been to Toronto since the “two really big dudes with gravelly voices” tour with Eric Bachmann in September 2006. In any case, the upcoming release of Surrounded – about which there’s no other information besides that it exists and will be called Surrounded – will bring him back to The Horseshoe on May 23, tickets $13.50.

MP3: Richard Buckner – “Escape”

One of the unfortunate casualties of the canceled Efterklang show during CMF last month was the local debut of Philadelphia’s Nightlands, who were supposed to open up. They’ll make that show up at The Drake Underground on June 3, playing songs from their debut Oak Island, from which they’ve just released a new video. The Concordian also has an interview with band principal Dave Hartley.

MP3: Nightlands – “300 Clouds”
MP3: Nightlands – “Suzerain (A Letter To The Judge)”
Video: Nightlands – “Born To Love”

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer will circle back behind their third album Fragrant World with a show at The Phoenix on July 2.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Henrietta”
MP3: Yeasayer – “Longevity”

Two-tone legends The Specials are coming back to town, slating a July 9 date at The Kool Haus, tickets $39.50.

Video: The Specials – “Message To You Rudy”

“Edge” certainly doesn’t mean what it used to. Traditionally the region’s premier bro-fest, the CFNY-sponsored Edgefest has gone acoustic and plaid for 2013, taking advantage of Lollapalooza weekend to present a lineup headlined by The Lumineers and Band Of Horses at Downsview Park on July 31. Quite an about face from past editions of the festival, which has in the past been closed out by the likes of Billy Talent, A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, and Our Lady Peace. Tickets for the day are $49.50 plus fees.

MP3: Band Of Horses – “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Video: The Lumineers – “Hey Ho”

Okay, so as it turns out there was more announced this week than I thought. Elsewhere…

Philly.com talks to Redd Kross’ Steve McDonald, who will tear things up at The Horseshoe tomorrow night, April 11.

The Thermals are streaming their new super-short but super-intense new album Desperate Ground at Pitchfork before its out on Apri l6. They play The Horseshoe on May 21.

Stream: The Thermals / Desperate Ground

Another new track from Steve Earle’s Low Highway – out April 16 – has been made available to stream.

Stream: Steve Earle & The Dukes (and Duchesses) – “Calico County”

DIY talks to Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne ahead of next week’s release of The Terror.

Under The Radar interviews Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in town at The Kool Haus on May 9.

NPR has a Mountain Stage session with Calexico, coming to Toronto for a NXNE show at the Mod Club on June 12.

Exclaim, The Village Voice, Pitchfork, and Consequence Of Sound all want to talk to Kurt Vile about his latest album Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, out now. He plays the Toronto Urban Roots Fest at Garrison Common on July 7.

Lissie has rolled out a lyric video fro the first sample of her second album, due out this September.

Lyric Video: Lissie – “Shameless”

NPR has a World Cafe session with Caitlin Rose.

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

CONTEST – Yeasayer @ The Danforth Music Hall – November 9, 2012

Photo By Anna PalmaAnna PalmaWho: Yeasayer
What: Brooklyn psych-pop outfit who rolled out their third album Fragrant World back in August.
Why: When this show was originally announced back in May, it was to take place in the much larger Sound Academy and on the exact day of the record’s release. Then for reasons unknown, the show was both postponed and relocated to the date and place noted above. But at least now fans have had time to live with the record a bit, yeah?
When: Friday, November 9, 2012
Where: The Danforth Music Hall in Toronto
Who else: Ahmed Gallab – who also plays in Yeasayer and has also played with Of Montreal, Born Ruffians, and Caribou – opens up as Sinkane.
How: Tickets for the show are $22.50 in advance but courtesy of Killbeat, 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 see Yeasayer” in the subject line and your full name in the body, and have that in to me before midnight, November 6.
What else: Stereogum, Consequence Of Sound, and Rolling Stone all talked to the band about the new record.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Henrietta”
MP3: Yeasayer – “Longevity”
MP3: Yeasayer – “Fingers Never Bleed”
Video: Yeasayer – “Reagan’s Skeleton”
Video: Yeasayer – “Longevity”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Osheaga 2012 Day One

Florence & The Machine, Sigur Rós, The Weeknd, and more at Osheaga

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangI had decided a little while ago that I was done with big, outdoor music festivals. My last go-around was Pitchfork 2010 – not even what could be considered a “big” festival in the grand scheme of things – and even then, I was really feeling the “I am too old for this”-ness of the experience. But two years is a long time, or at least long enough to forget those aches and pains, and so when the opportunity arose at the last minute to hit Montrél’s Osheaga – Canada’ biggest and last multi-day, all-day outdoor music fest – I said, “why not”. After all, I’ve done fests all over the US and even in Europe – to not have been to the one closest to home (aside from the late Toronto V’s) seemed silly, and this year they’d assembled a pretty impressive lineup by drafting off of Lollapalooza. And so I went.

When I first saw Londoner Charli XCX back at SXSW, the buzz around here was very much in the embryonic stage – people were talking about her but with very little actual music released, it wasn’t entirely clear why they were talking about her. Her short, low-key, afternoon set in the front room of Red Eyed Fly didn’t do much to clarify that either though to be fair, it clearly wasn’t her ideal setting. Which isn’t to say that opening up a festival under the blazing sun and smothering humidity was her element, but it was certainly closer. With a drummer, keyboardist, and no shortage of backing tracks behind her, she led things off with an energized set of clubby electro-pop that went over well with the smattering of early birds gathering in front of the Parc Jean-Drapeau mainstage. Sometimes said backing tracks were more audible than the live instrumentation, but the balance of things eventually settled down and that Charli XCX had a strong voice, capable of conveying both playfulness and drama, was evident – she was no ingenue up there, and though her sound is very much for the kids, her respectable cover of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” went some way to endearing her to the oldsters in the audience.

Digital Spy and Paper have interviews with Charli XCX.

Photos: Charli XCX @ Scène de la montagne – August 3, 2012
MP3: Charli XCX – “I’ll Never Know”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Valentine”
MP3: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Video: Charli XCX – “Nuclear Seasons”
Video: Charli XCX – “You’re The One”

Typically, bands playing festivals have to agree to a radius clause that prevents them from playing any other local shows for a certain amount of time. Australia’s Jezabels, on the other hand, were playing their second Montrél show in less than 24 hours having played a club show the night before for MMOI, an event running parallel/in conjunction with Osheaga tasked with putting a spotlight on specific acts from around the world. But if they were feeling the effects of the hectic schedule, it didn’t show. Already rising stars down under, they’ve been working hard at making a similar dent in North America on the back of their debut album Prisoner and though their set started over 10 minutes late due to soundchecking issues, they used the remaining time to showcase their stadium rock ambitions with frontwoman Hayley Mary’s soaring vocals and arm-waving choruses.

Zimbio has a feature interview with the band, and they’ve just announced a date at The Mod Club on October 24.

Photos: The Jezabels @ Scène des arbes – August 3, 2012
MP3: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
MP3: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”
MP3: The Jezabels – “Mace Spray”
Video: The Jezabels – “Rosebud”
Video: The Jezabels – “Try Colour”
Video: The Jezabels – “Endless Summer”
Video: The Jezabels – “Mace Spray”
Video: The Jezabels – “Easy To Love”
Video: The Jezabels – “Hurt Me”

Following up on the same stage were California’s Dum Dum Girls, who were also plagued with technical problems – the first big cheer of the day went not for their retro garage pop, but when they were finally able to get bassist Malia James’ mic working. Still on the road for last year’s Only In Dreams but also in advance of their new EP End Of Daze, out September 25, they put on an energetic set that wasn’t too different from the times I saw them last year at NXNE and at SXSW – right down to the sweltering heat making their make-up run – but their harmonies sounded more up front this time and, oh – both Dee Dee and Malia changed their hair colours, if that’s the sort of thing you’re keeping track of. Though the myriad technical issues persisted through their set – at times there were as many techs on stage as band members – they soldiered through for a solid set.

Photos: Dum Dum Girls @ Scène des arbes – August 3, 2012
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Lord Knows”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bhang Bhang I’m A Burnout”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “D.A.L.”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Jail La La”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Bhang Bhang I’m A Burnout”
Video: Dum Dum Girls – “Jail La La”

It seems I only see Franz Ferdinand at festivals – the last time being Toronto’s final V Fest in 2009 – but that’s okay, as they’re a fantastic festival band. The timing was a bit odd as there’s been no official word on a follow-up to 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, though a release sometime this year has been promised for a while and new songs have been trickling out in live sets. In any case, it’s probably safe to say that no one cared that there wasn’t a new record out because they wanted to hear the old stuff, which Franz delivered with gusto. Opening with “Dark Of The Matinée” and powering through basically non-stop disco-rock anthems before closing with, “This Fire”, theirs was the first set that made the day feel like it was entering prime time. There was one new song, thrown in for good measure and sounding for lack of a better description very Franz. Also new was Alex Kapranos’ moustache which, even with his formidable swagger, I don’t think he pulled off. Can’t win ’em all, guys.

Photos: Franz Ferdinand @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Can’t Stop Feeling”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Ulysses”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Jeremy Fraser”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Wine In The Afternoon”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “L. Wells”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Fallen”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Walk Away”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Do You Want To”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “This Fire”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Michael”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “The Dark Of The Matinee”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Video: Franz Ferdinand – “Darts Of Pleasure”

Abel Tesfaye – the Toronto-based R&B singer known professionally as The Weeknd – spent most of 2011 shrouded in mystery, eschewing interviews and overt publicity and riding his trilogy of mixtapes – House Of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes Of Silence – to huge acclaim and a place on that year’s Polaris Prize shortlist. But seeing as how internet acclaim doesn’t put food on the table, it was only a matter of time before Tesfaye stepped out of the shadows and onto the stage. Specifically, big festival stages like at Osheaga. Fronting a five-piece band and facing a massive crowd of enthusiastic fans, Tesfaye certainly didn’t come across as someone who would shy away from attention. Though he wasn’t a showy performer, he was charismatic and in great voice. It was interesting to see how big a smile he wore considering how dark a perspective he frequently writes from, but I suppose it’s hard to be glum when you’ve got thousands of people – many of them young women – screaming for you. His set went overtime with a drawn-out, vocally acrobatic version of “Wicked Games” and was one of the many points in the weekend when the tag-team setup of the Osheaga mainstages made for an interesting contrast, with half the crowd swooning and the other half, waiting for Florence & The Machine’s set to begin, stewing.

Photos: The Weeknd @ Scène de la montagnes – August 3, 2012
MP3: The Weeknd – “Loft Music”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Zone”
MP3: The Weeknd – “House Of Balloons – Glass Table Girls”
MP3: The Weeknd – “What Do You Need”
MP3: The Weeknd – “D.D.”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Fall”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Birds (Part 1)”
MP3: The Weeknd – “High For This”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Initiation”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Wicked Games”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Montreal”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Outside”
MP3: The Weeknd – “XO/The Host”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Same Old Song”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Morning”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Rolling Stone”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Birds (Part 2)”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Heaven Or Las Vegas”
MP3: The Weeknd – “The Knowing”
MP3: The Weeknd – “Coming Down”
Video: The Weeknd – “The Knowing”

Florence & The Machine could only been delayed, however, not denied. I regard it as a statement of fact rather than boast that I was on board with Florence Welch way early on, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Her first releases painted her as a sort of crazy art-rock eccentric with prodigious vocal gifts but seemingly no inclination to use them conventionally or consistently – which may and well have been the plan at first, but at some point it became evident that big, roof-rattling anthems would be better use for her talents to say nothing of more marketable. Her debut Lungs somewhat split the difference between the two directions, albeit with the older material polished up so as to not embarrass their siblings, but her second album Ceremonials was all bombastic singles with little use for variety or restraint, and it’s hard to argue with the success of that direction – fully half the album has been released as singles and she’s a massive star worldwide, as her marquee billing at festivals like this testified.

Though not the Friday closer, Florence certainly drew the largest crowd of the day and taking the ornately-decorated stage in a billowing blue dress, she was certainly up for the occasion. Sweeping from one side of the stage to other so as to not neglect anyone, the dramatic flourishes and stage moves I commented on at her Toronto debut in November 2009 have only gotten bigger in the interim (I’ve missed all her local shows since) but she tempers the grandiosity of the presentation with appreciation and affection for her fans and playful moves like leaping up and down onstage, heels be damned. It’s possible that it’s all rehearsed and routine, but from my vantage point up front, her huge smile was genuine. It was nice. And it may seem odd to say, but losing her voice as she did a couple weeks ago may have been good for Welch – a complaint I’ve had about her live performance before was that her vocal power would come at the expense of pitch – read: she was flat a lot – but this time out, she was demonstrating more restraint in her delivery, perhaps intending to save her voice but reaping the benefits of being more controlled, more in key, and more dynamic as a result. Whatever it was, even though I don’t necessarily count myself a big fan anymore, I thoroughly enjoyed her set. Some artists are made for festivals.

The National Post, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, and The Globe & Mail have interviews with Welch.

Photos: Florence & The Machine @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breaking Down”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Spectrum (Say My Name)”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Breath Of Life”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Never Let Me Go”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “No Light, No Light”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Shake It Out”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “What The Water Gave Me”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Cosmic Love”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Drumming Song”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Kiss With A Fist”
Video: Florence & The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

To paraphrase Winston Zeddemore, when someone asks you if you want to see Sigur Rós twice in 72 hours, you say YES. So a couple days after seeing their blissful set at Echo Beach in Toronto, I was lucky enough to see Iceland’s finest once again. And as great as their Osheaga set was, it really made me thankful that I saw that Toronto show as it was nearly twice as long and far better-paced to allow the beauty of what they do to come through. In a festival setting and limited to a set time of just an hour, they had to dispense with most of the slower, more ambient parts of their show in favour of a more compressed, impactful set list. I appreciated that it wasn’t necessarily their own audience they were playing in front of – I’m sure many didn’t even know who they were – but I did hope that for those unfamiliar, their set would be a gateway of sorts to something magical and otherworldly. Judging from the chants of, “Justice! Justice” that grew from the other half of the mainstage area as their set drew to a close, that probably wasn’t the case. Alas.

The National Post has an interview.

Photos: Sigur Rós @ Scène de la montagne – August 3, 2012
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Popplagio / The Pop Song”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Staralfur”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”
MP3: Sigur Rós – “Nýja lagið”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Rembihnútur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Fjögur Píanó”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Varúð” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version two)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ég anda” (version one)
Video: Sigur Rós – “Ekki Múkk”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Við Spilum Endalaust “
Video: Sigur Rós – “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Gobbledigook”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Sæglópur”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Hoppípolla”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Glósóli”
Video: Sigur Rós – “(Vaka)”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Viðrar vel til loftárása”
Video: Sigur Rós – “Svefn-G-Englar”

And finally, there was Justice for all. At least all who were left. Though the ostensible headliners, the French disco-rock duo had a markedly smaller audience than Florence did but they were still legion and really, that just meant more room to dance. The pair set up atop/behind their signature wall of electronic consoles and wings of Marshall stacks – and giant glowing cross, yes – but from the angle up close it looked more ridiculous than impressive, with Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay looking like little more than severed heads sitting atop their setup. Certainly there was no way to see what they were actually doing up there, whether DJing records or playing Pac-Man, but no one seemed to care. They had a raging dance party to engage in, and rage they did. Justice provided an excellent soundtrack to ending a long, hot day of great music and also for walking to the subway.

The Montreal Gazette and NOW have interviews.

Photos: Justice @ Scène de la rivière – August 3, 2012
MP3: Justice – “On’N’On”
Video: Justice – “New Lands”
Video: Justice – “On’N’On”
Video: Justice – “Audio, Video, Disco”
Video: Justice – “Civilization”
Video: Justice – “Phantom Pt. II”
Video: Justice – “Stress”
Video: Justice – “DVNO”
Video: Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.”

And a few concert announcements that may be relevant to your interests. Just here in May, LA’s Grouplove are back in support of Never Trust A Happy Song for a show at The Phoenix on November 5, tickets $24 in advance.

Video: Grouplove – “Colours”

Aimee Mann has announced a Fall tour behind her new album Charmer, out September 18, and is bringing an expected tourmate with her – Ted Leo. I assume he’s leaving the Pharmacists at home for this outing and will be dialing down the punk a bit so as to not scare Mann’s audience, but it’s an interesting pairing. The Toronto show is November 6 at the Danforth Music Hall, tickets $27.50 and $32.50.

MP3: Aimee Mann – “Charmer”
MP3: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “Bottled In Cork”

After expressing surprise that Yeasayer were big enough to play the Sound Academy, as they were meant to on August 21, it appears that they in fact aren’t. On either count. Their new album Fragrant World is still out that day, but they’ll not be in Toronto until November 9 and it will be at the markedly smaller Danforth Music Hall. Anyone who says they are upset about the change in venue is lying and should not be allowed near small children.

Rachael Yamagata has made a date at The Mod Club for December 1, tickets $15. Her latest album Chesapeake came out last Fall.

Video: Rachael Yamagata – “Even If I Don’t”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Fragrant World

Yeasayer are now big enough to play The Sound Academy, and other assorted sundry news items

Photo By Anna PalmaAnna PalmaIt used to be that the room that every concert-goer in Toronto hated was The Kool Haus, a ridiculously-named concrete box on the waterfront that usually marked the point where a percentage of long-time fans would decide a band had gotten too big and would peel off to find the next big thing, only to have their places happily taken by folks from the more mainstream side of things who could care less that said band had been grinding it out in the clubs for years – they were that band with that one song that they’d heard on the radio/on a soundtrack/in and ad/whatever.

It was the circle of life, and it still applies now except that instead of the 2000-capacity Kool Haus marking that demarcation point, lately bands have been jumping straight from the clubs to the Sound Academy – an even more despised concrete box on the waterfront that, despite the number of people who swear they will never go to a show there, still sells out its 3000+ capacity with regularity. But on the plus side, people look at the Kool Haus a lot more affectionately these days.

All of which is to say that I’m mildly surprised – and yet not – that Brooklyn’s Yeasayer have booked themselves into The Sound Academy this Summer for their North American tour in support of their third album, Fragrant World. I guess I just didn’t think that Yeasayer had the sort of mass appeal that would justify a move from the 1000-person Phoenix, where they were their last time through in June 2011, to a room three times larger this time out. But hey, it’s happening – much to the dismay of many, I’m sure – on August 21, which also happens to be the day that the new album comes out. Tickets for that one will be $22.50 general admission and $32.50 for VIP balcony seats.

The first track from Fragrant World has been made available to download, and there’s a piece in Spin from last Fall where singer Chris Keating talked about the song, specifically.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Henrietta”

In other show announcements – The Dandy Warhols will play an in-store at Sonic Boom’s Annex location on June 3 at 4:30PM before their show at The Phoenix later that night. There’s interviews with the band at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Phoenix, and Vancouver Observer.

MP3: The Dandy Warhols – “Country Leaver”

Brooklyn’s Ava Luna have made a date at The Drake Underground for July 14, tickets $10 in advance. Their debut album Ice Level was released earlier this Winter.

MP3: Ava Luna – “Wrenning Day”

California’s RACES – yes, I believe the all caps is mandatory – will be at The Drake on July 23 in support of their debut Year Of The Witch, which is also available to stream in its entirety.

MP3: RACES – “Big Broom”
Stream: RACES / Year Of The Witch

Los Angeles ambient-electronic artist Julia Holter will be at The Horseshoe on September 22 in support of her widely-acclaimed second album Ekstasis. Tickets for that are $12 in advance and The Quietus has an interview.

Video: Julia Holter – “Our Sorrw”

Beachwood Sparks have released a second MP3 from their comeback record The Tarnished Gold, out June 26.

MP3: Beachwood Sparks – “Sparks Fly Again”

Rolling Stone has premiered the new animated video from Andrew Bird, taken from Break It Yourself. He plays Echo Beach on July 19.

Video: Andrew Bird – “eyeoneye”

Filter has a video session with School Of Seven Bells.

Room 205 has posted the second installment of their video series with Blouse.

Pitchfork solicits a guest list from Jana Hunter of Lower Dens, in town at Lee’s Palace on July 17.

Coup de Main and Tulsa World talk to Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

Ume’s Lauren Larson chats with The Dallas Observer.

The Village Voice finds out what Amy Klein has been up to since leaving Titus Andronicus last Fall – mainly starting a new band, Leda. Which sounds like this.

MP3: Leda – “Halfway”

The Stool Pigeon talks to both Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House.

The Quietus profiles The Men, doing up NXNE with shows at The Garrison on June 14 and Wrongbar on June 15.

Blurt talks to Brett Netson of Electronic Anthology Project about synth-ing up the likes of Built To Spill and Dinosaur Jr.

Rolling Stone has a video interview with Greg Dulli about the Afghan Whigs reunion.

Bob Mould takes an in-depth look back at the Sugar years for The Quietus. Their catalog gets reissued in fancy form come July 24.

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Down Is The New Up

Hey it’s Radiohead! And they’re doing stuff!

Photo By Kevin WestenbergKevin WestenbergClearly unconvinced that Arcade Fire’s Grammy win Sunday night had sufficiently broken the internet – at least as far as my Twitter and RSS feeds were concerned – Radiohead decided to apply a fatality-class finishing move on Monday morning, announcing that their eighth album was not only done, but would be called The King Of Limbs and be available for digital sale as of this coming Saturday, February 19.

Rather than repeat the pay-what-you-can model that accompanied their last sneak album release In Rainbows in 2007, the band are going the more traditional pay-what-we-say route this time out, offering digital-only pre-orders in MP3 or WAV format which will be fulfilled on Saturday or MP3/WAV plus fancy-pants physical package which they’re calling their “Newspaper Album” and includes the record on two 10″ LPs, a CD and craploads of packaging and artwork and due for delivery around May 9. For those who still dig physical product but don’t need all the bells and whistles, the regular CD and LP editions will be available on March 29.

It was well known that a new Radiohead record was coming this year, but beyond that it was anyone’s guess as to what, when, how, etc. and so in an age where albums are often “over” before they’re even officially out, it’s nice to still be able to experience that sense of surprise and anticipation. And considering the band have only played one show in the past 13 months – the Haiti benefit last January – almost none of the new material has been road-tested, making those first listens come Saturday that much more exciting.

So…. touring?

Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (live)

Elbow have released the first proper video from build a rocket boys!, and in the process remind me that the record is out in just three weeks on March 7. So very looking forward to hearing this one. So… touring?

Video: Elbow – “Neat Little Rows”

Rolling Stone talks to Liam Gallagher and Andy Bell of Beady Eye. Their debut Different Gear, Still Speeding is out March 1. As for brother Noel, he’s talking a lot but hasn’t started working on his own post-Oasis project.

Manic Street Preachers have released a new video for the title track from their latest Postcards From A Young Man.

Video: Manic Street Preachers – “Postcards From A Young Man”

Interview interviews Dominic Aitchison of Mogwai, The Quietus Stuart Braithwaite and Martin Bulloch also documents a day in the life for The Quietus. Their new record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is out today and they’ve a gig at The Phoenix come April 26.

Music Snobbery interviews Blood Red Shoes.

The AV Club, NPR, Exclaim and Newsweek talk to PJ Harvey, whose war-themed latest Let England Shake may lead to an appointment as “official war song correspondent”.

NPR solicits a Tiny Desk Concert from Adele; Adele obliges. Her new record 21 is out next week and she plays The Kool Haus on May 18.

The Guardian interviews Anna Calvi, who follows the March 1 release of her self-titled debut with a show at Wrongbar on March 11 as part of Canadian Musicfest.

The first MP3 from The Raveonettes’ forthcoming Raven In The Grave, out March 22, is now available to download. They’ll be at The Phoenix on April 2.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “Forget That You’re Young”

Clash and The Scotsman talk to Lykke Li, who releases Wounded Rhymes on March 1 and plays The Phoenix on May 22.

So… touring? Here’s some of the stuff that got announced in the last few days. We already knew that J Mascis was headlining The Great Hall on the Friday, March 11, of Canadian Musicfest, but he’ll also be doing an in-store at Sonic Boom that afternoon at 5PM. You may recall he did the same with Dinosaur Jr last January – hopefully this time he won’t be running a half hour late. His new solo record Several Shades Of Why arrives March 15.

MP3: J Mascis – “Not Enough”

To mark the March 1 reissue of their 1998 self-titled debut, Queens Of The Stone Age will hit the road to play it in its entirety, a tour which stops in at the Sound Academy on March 29, tickets $47 and $57 in advance.

I certainly thought that last week’s Lee’s Palace show would be the one and only time Toronto got a visit from the touring-averse Radio Dept., but it looks like those who kept clapping for a second encore will get their wish – their touring itinerary shows them with an overnight layover in Toronto after appearing at Sasquatch and will pass the time with a May 29 date at The Horseshoe – good news for those who snoozed and losed on getting tickets for the Lee’s gig. aux.tv and Ca Va Cool have interviews with the band.

MP3: The Radio Dept. – “Why Won’t You Talk About It?”

Yeasayer released an aural valentine yesterday in the form of a free EP and a North American tour – look for them June 7 at The Phoenix.

MP3: Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”