Tuesday, February 15th, 2005
Shows! Shows! Shows!
Newly reunited UK post-punk legends Gang Of Four are coming to town to play the Phoenix on May 14. Tickets are on sale February 24 and run a steep $27.50, but what are you gonna do? They’re doing it for the money and by God, they’ll have their money.
On a more contemporary tip, France’s Phoenix make their Toronto debut on April 8 at the Opera House, ably supported by Dogs Die In Hot Cars and Joy Zipper. Tickets for this one run $17.50. Phoenix made quite the impression on some of the music bloggers down south during their last US tour. This may not be one to miss.
The Decemberists bring Picaresque to Lee’s Palace on May 21. Their show at the Horseshoe last year was fantastic. I missed the second show at Lee’s in June, but will definitely be in attendance this time around. Willy Mason supports. Thanks to Donewaiting for the info.
Finally, Prefuse 73 and Battles are at Lee’s Palace May 8, tickets $15.
The Wedding Present’s new one Take Fountain is in stores today! Or it is in theory, anyway. I don’t expect it to actually be in stores today. Maybe this week, but today? Not likely. Pitchfork thinks it’s just okay. Spoilt Victorian Child celebrates the occasion with a tribute and some MP3s. If you don’t know the Weddoes, that’s a good place to start. From Indie MP3.
Death Cab For Cutie’s last release on Barsuk, The John Byrd live mini-album, is out March 1. Details here, from LHB.
Tandem and The Baltimore Sun (bugmenot:firstname.lastname@example.org/bugmenot) talk to Shivaree’s Ambrosia Parsley. Shivaree are doing two shows at the Lula Lounge tonight and Thursday. I’m going tonight, so if it’s good I’ll report it Wednesday and the rest of you can scurry down for Thursday.
I am listening to Emm Gryner’s Songs Of Love & Death. Hearing Therapy?’s “Nowhere” done as a folky campfire song is just… strange. I used to have a copy of Troublegum on tape. No, that’s all I have to say about that.
Zoilus contemplates the “two solitudes” of Canadian Music. Celine Dion vs Arcade Fire, the Junos vs Wavelength. That sort of thing. A good read.
And speaking of Arcade Fire, Pitchfork interviews em.
24: God, it was like the Behruz says stupid things hour. “My father is a terrorist! We’re all terrorists!” What was more amazing is that no one in the hospital reacted to this one bit. “I hate you! I’ve always hated you!” That’s great, kid. Did you forget your dad has been trying to kill you for the past four hours? He doesn’t want to bond. Otherwise, not the most engaging episode so far. The plot moved along and it’s always nice to see parallel story threads converge (ie – the Araz family, Jack & Tony’s travelling roadshow). The bit with Edgar and his mom? Not as moving as they’d probably hoped. Or maybe I’m just a cold sonofabitch.
np – Chapterhouse / Whirlpool
Saturday, January 15th, 2005
An act new to me but starting to make a little noise in blog circles is Shivaree. Their decidedly two-edged claim to fame is having their song “Goodnight Moon” played over the closing scenes of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume 2. I don’t think there’s been a director in recent memory responsible for creating more one-hit wonders than Mr Tarantino… but I digress. With the release of their third record Who’s Got Trouble this past Tuesday, they’re hoping to earn some cred on their own.
Fronted by the absurdly good-looking and wonderfully named Ambrosia Parsley, Shivaree produce an eclectic and peculiar mix of country, soul, cabaret and pop styles that hinges on Parsley’s strangely innocent/sultry vocals. I find her voice oddly compelling, and the same actually goes for Shivaree’s music in general. I personally find it fascinating, but I don’t love it yet. Howerver, I want to – perhaps with time. I think I’ve seen many copies of their 1999 debut I Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump (the title right there should give you an idea about the band’s aesthetic) in used bins, so maybe I’ll take a flyer on that. There’s not much chance of finding 2002′s Rough Dreams as it never got a North American release.
If you’re curious, the newly-redesigned Womenfolk ran a piece on Shivaree yesterday, complete with four mp3s. There’s also some not-great-quality streaming audio from their European label and this old performance at KCRW.
This Shivaree talk is topical not only because it let me post a picture of Ms Parsley, but because they’re playing two shows at the Lula Lounge on February 15 and 17, tickets $12. I may go to the Tuesday show as it’s an early one, and Lula Lounge is so far out in the middle of nowhere, it’ll take me hours to flag down a dogsled to get home.
The Toronto Star (bugmenot: email@example.com/sowhat) considers Feist’s chances for success in the US. Let It Die comes out on Interscope’s Cherry Hill imprint in American on April 5 and if the label has its way, there’ll be tours opening for Norah Jones, new album artwork, dance remixes, soundtrack carpet bombing, television appearances – but no McDonalds commercials. A line must be drawn. But I can’t help feeling a bit of trepidation here…
Related – Pop (All Love) points us to this piece on The O.C. effect for indie artists. The first salvo of the Feist invasion of America was an appearance of “Let It Die” on an episode of The O.C. last year. No, I didn’t see it.
More Neko Case love – The Chicago Sun-Time and Cleveland.com preview her tour for The Tigers Have Spoken. Links from LHB.
SXSW Baby! is a new group blog dedicated to getting folks primed and educated to get the most out of SXSW this year. The excellent music festival guide comes courtesy of Kathryn Yu. A good resource, I’ll be visiting often.
For anyone laying bets on what I ended up doing last night, the smart money should have been on d) falling asleep on the couch listening to Lush at 9PM. I am a party animal, oh yes I am.
np – Sufjan Stevens / Seven Swans