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Posts Tagged ‘Zombies’

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The Return Of The Thin White Duke

Some more thoughts on the return of David Bowie and other stuff

Photo By Jimmy KingJimmy KingIn the wake of David Bowie’s sudden and unexpected return to public life on Monday night, there’s understandably been a lot of Bowie talk in the past few days. Linking to them all would be futile, but here’s some of the pieces I’ve particularly liked. The Quietus does a great job of summing up why his return matters, why it’s different from all the other reunions and career resurrections that we’ve seen, as well as what we might expect from The Next Day when it drops on March 12.

Both The Guardian and The Quietus analyze the odd and polarizing artwork that will grace the new album – I honestly thought it was a joke when I first saw it – and if you missed my addendum on Tuesday, there’s an interview with the designer of the cover at Virus Fonts. Rolling Stone sums up an interview with producer Tony Visconti about the making of the record, which has been two years in the making, and what the rest of the album feels like – hint: not like the lead single – and over at Ultimate Classic Rock, guitarist Earl Slick talks about his own contributions to the record and the challenges of not saying a damn word about it until now. Update: In a forthcoming NME interview, Visconti re-emphasizes Bowie’s intentions to not perform live for this record. So there’s that. Update 2: Billboard also has an interview with Visconti.

For my part, despite being one of the many who probably hasn’t given any of Bowie’s late-era works the consideration at least some of it surely deserves, I’m quite excited about the new record. I really like the new song, and I especially like the fact that this is an album that exists not because Bowie felt he was obliged to make one – most everyone had accepted that he was retired and no longer owed anyone anything; he had successfully transitioned into myth – but because after an unprecedentedly long layoff, once again has something to say musically. I look forward to hearing what that is.

And in the meantime, check out these 34 portraits of Bowie by famous cartoonists over at Buzzfeed, have another look at the piece in The Daily Mail from last year that seemed to confirm his domestic bliss and try to read the, “yeah sure it looks like I’m just out to do some shopping but I’m really making a new record that you have no idea about” in his smile. Oh, and here’s that new single/video again.

Video: David Bowie – “Where Are We Now?”

The Bowie news, of course, blew the news of Suede’s own new single right off the front pages of certain music news sites, but to remind us that also was a thing, the band have released a rehearsal space video for the song. Their new album Bloodsports is out in March, though hopefully not on the 12th lest they want to be overshadowed by Bowie yet again.

Video: Suede – “Barricade” (Rehearsal Room video)

Pitchfork has debuted the new video from Esben & The Witch’s second album Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, out in a couple weeks on January 22.

Video: Esben & The Witch – “Despair”

DIY has got a stream of the new single from British buzz band Palma Violets, in town at The Horseshoe on January 24 and dropping their debut 180 on February 25.

Stream: Palma Violets – “Step Up For The Cool Cats”

The Guardian has a wide-ranging interview with Johnny Marr, covering everything from The Smiths to his solo debut The Messenger due out February 26. Another new track from the album is streaming at KROQ.

Stream: Johnny Marr – “Upstarts”

The Walking Dead is back on TV come February 10 but those who like their Zombies a little less shambling and a little more classic baroque pop will want to catch the Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent-led 2013 lineup at The Sound Academy on March 3.

Video: The Zombies – “She’s Not There”

NME reports thatKate Nash will release her third album Girl Talk on March 4; stream the first single below.

Stream: Kate Nash – “3AM”

Le Blogotheque has a Takeaway Show session with Django Django. They play The Opera House on March 12.

The 405 has details on If You Leave, the debut album from Daughter which will be out on March 18 in Europe and the UK but not until April 30 in North America.

The Alt-J show on March 27 originally set for The Phoenix has been moved to The Sound Academy and is now all-ages. The extra 2000 or so tickets go on sale today and are still $17.50. NPR has a video session as well as a Tiny Desk Concert with the band and Clash gets them to reflect on their rather successful 2012. Under The Radar also has an interview.

MP3: Alt-J – “Tessalate”

The 405 has a quick update on the new Primal Scream album, which if their producer’s Facebook is to be believed, will be called More Light and be out in May.

Rolling Stone talks to Neil Halstead about the just-released new video from his latest Palindrome Hunches.

Video: Neil Halstead – “Digging Shelters”

Charli XCX has released a new gunplay-happy video that’s drawing some ire from those who are a bit sensitive on the topic of guns right now. Which is understandable to a degree, but I hope they’re saving some of their vitriol for the people/organizations actually responsible for the excess of real-life gun violence rather than a British pop singer latching onto a ubiquitous aspect of western pop culture.

Video: Charli XCX – “You (Ha Ha Ha)”

DIY talks to Summer Camp about how things are coming with album number two while The Line Of Best Fit learns about the documentary the band are also making about late ’90s/early ’00s teen movies entitled Beyond Clueless.

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Forever Changes

'60s resurrection/reconstitution tours featuring Love and The Zombies come to Toronto

Photo via california66revue.com/MySpacewww.california66revue.com/MySpaceWe always seem to be talking about (relatively) new music hereabouts. Let’s talk about some old. A few acts with legendary names recently announced tours that are coming through town, but as is the case more often than not, the actual product bears some extra scrutiny.

First, you’ve got ’60s British pop giants The Zombies, who have a date at the Mod Club on July 15 – tickets $39.50. Though four of the five original members still survive – guitarist Paul Atkinson died in 2004 – and they’ve reunited for special shows in the UK in recent years, this touring outfit boasts just two original members. Those members are singer Colin Blunstone and pianist Rod Argent, though, so it’s probably reasonable to think that they’ll sound pretty damn good when running through their stone-cold yet still probably underappreciated classic tunes like “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”, “Care Of Cell 44” and “Time Of The Season”. I think The Zombies have toured through Ontario in the past, but usually well out of town at casino resorts and such – their playing a show in downtown Toronto could well draw a completely different but hopefully appreciative audience.

Slightly more questionable in the credentials department is the California ’66 Revue, which will be at Lee’s Palace a month later on August 14, tickets $25. That bill is topped by psych-rock forebears The Electric Prunes and also features Sky Saxon, who once fronted garage rockers The Seeds, but it’s the middle act that is simultaneously the most intriguing and most probably disappointing – Love.

When I was younger and was far more keen on amassing a more comprehensive musical education, I spent a lot of time with albums that had been acknowledged as “classics” but I think one of the only ones that I really, really grew to love beyond the historical context – and that includes from the Beatles and the Stones – was Love’s Forever Changes. It’s such a unique record, towering with ambition and somehow delivering on every promise – glorious both for its singles and as a single, unified artistic statement. With a number of reissues over the last few years, each with different bonus goodies, as well as a live CD/DVD set, one could argue that it’s no longer the criminally overlooked treasure it once was, but it’s also so good a record that you could also argue that it’s simply not possible for it to get the praise it actually deserves. I hold this record in that high esteem.

And so on one level, it’s exciting that Love is coming to town, but also problematic due to the fact that Love frontman and mastermind, Arthur Lee, died three years ago. The current outfit isn’t without some claim to the name – they boast guitarist Johnny Echols and drummer Michael Stuart-Ware, both of whom played on Forever Changes and are otherwise comprised of Baby Lemonade, who were Lee’s backing band in his later years while performing as Love with Arthur Lee but they also actually fired Lee in 2005, citing his unpredictable and unprofessional behaviour, and continued on as The Love Band. It later turned out that this was due, in part at least, to Lee’s battle with leukemia which he would eventually succumb to the following year.

The point of all this being that though they’re called Love, and have members of Love, and may even sound a helluva lot like Love (I don’t know who’s handling vocals), it’s just not Love. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be good, just not Love. And it makes me wistful about the show that Lee and the band had originally scheduled for Lee’s Palace back in 2002 but had to cancel on account of immigration issues – apparently Canada took exception to Lee’s criminal record for firearms offenses. That would have been something.

Video: The Zombies – “Time Of The Season”
Video: Love – “Alone Again Or” (live)
Video: The Electric Prunes – “”You Never Had It Better/I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)”
Video: The Seeds – “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine”

Blurt reports that in addition to the upcoming reissues of Big Star’s seminal Number One Record and Radio City albums – as a remastered single CD or individual LPs – on June 16, there’ll be a four-disc box set chock full of unreleased goodies due out September 15. Update: Pitchfork has box set details, including the title – Keep An Eye On The Sky.

Magnet plays over/under with Elvis Costello’s oeuvre, hoping to point out that Declan’s post-2000 output is worth your time. I wonder if that’ll apply to his new one, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, when it’s released next week. There’s an interview at The Wall Street Journal as well as a feature piece and The Irish Times also has a chat. Costello plays Massey Hall on August 28.

Jambase talks to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. No, I don’t know when he’s coming back to town, stop asking me.

Exclaim puts Apostle Of Hustle on their cover, eye just gives them an inside story. They play the Music Gallery tonight and tomorrow night.

State, The Journal-Sentinel and Decider interview various Decemberists. They’re at the Kool Haus on August 3.

Aquarium Drunkard is offering a recent Neko Case session from CBC Radio 3 for download. Neko is at Massey Hall on July 14 with Jason Lytle as support. The Georgia Straight and Paste have interviews with the former Grandaddy frontman.

Pitchfork talks to Jason Molina of Magnolia Electric Co about their new album Josephine, due out July 21. The title track from said record is now available to download.

MP3: The Magnolia Electric Co – “Josephine”

See, Canada.com and The Calgary Sun interview The Dears.

The whole of the star-studded Dark Was The Night benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall earlier this month is now available to stream at NPR.