Search Results - "The Magnolia Electric Co,"
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co. passes away at 39
Steve GullickSad news out of Indianapolis yesterday morning, as word got out that Jason Molina, had died. Unbelievably prolific from the late ’90s through the mid ’00s first as the skeletal Songs: Ohia and then the lushly-arranged Magnolia Electric Co., as well under his own name, he helped craft the template of raw yet elegant, emotionally bare and beautifully sad songwriting within the folk, blues, and roots-rock idioms.
Following the release of Molina and Johnson, his 2009 collaboration with Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, Molina seemed to disappear from sight – most unusual for someone whose release and touring schedule rarely let up. An update finally came in September 2011, revealing that Molina’s battle with substance abuse had kept him creatively sidelined but positive steps were occurring; another update in May of last year from Molina himself was even more encouraging and some new music in the form of Autumn Bird Songs, a 10″ accompanying a book of artwork from William Shaff. And then, yesterday, the sad announcement that despite these positive signs, Molina had passed.
I was fortunate to have caught Molina live twice, in Fall 2004 and again in August 2005, right around the switchover in identity from Songs: Ohia to Magnolia Electric Co. Re-reading my writeups, it was clear that while I liked some of what he did, it didn’t connect with me fully. Now, reading over the many, many tributes from fans and other musicians for whom Molina’s work resonated at a deep, fundamental frequency, I feel like I need to revisit his work and be thankful for those shows, even if I didn’t wholly appreciate it at the time.
Secretly Canadian, the label for whom Molina recorded his entire career and who put out his “One Pronunciation Of Glory” 7″ as their second-ever release, has a fond remembrance of the man; Chunklet and NPR also have tributes. As their memorial, Drowned In Sound has offered up a beginner’s guide to Molina’s expansive catalog, though if you want to, you could just hit play down below.
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Almost Let You In”
MP3: Molina & Johnson – “Twenty Cycles To The Ground”
MP3: Jason Molina – “Get Out Get Out Get Out”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Josephine”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Little Sad Eyes”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Lonesome Valley”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “The Dark Don’t Hide It”
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co. – “Farewell Transmission”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Two Blue Lights”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Steve Albini’s Blues”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 2″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Untitled 1″
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Body Burned Away”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lightning Risked It All”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Lioness”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Tigress”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “How To Be Perfect Men”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Captain Badass”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East Heart Divided”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “East’s Last Heart”
MP3: Songs:Ohia – “Cabwaylingo”
Clash and DIY mark today’s release of The Invisible Way with feature pieces on Low while The Line Of Best Fit and The AV Club do their part with video sessions; note that the rest of the videos for the AV Club session are linked the bottom of the post.
With a week to go before the release of Comedown Machine, Pitchfork has drawn the “advance album stream” card for the new Strokes record.
MP3: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”
Stream: The Strokes / Comedown Machine
NPR has a World Cafe session with Local Natives. They play The Phoenix on March 28.
One of those new Telekinesis tracks from Domarion, out April 2, is now available to download. They hit The Horseshoe on May 12.
MP3 Telekinesis – “Ghosts & Creatures”
The Flaming Lips used one of their SXSW appearances to perform their new album The Terror in its entirety, which must have been great for those in attendance since it’s not even out until April 16 – yeah, it has been pushed back a fortnight – and everyone knows there’s nothing better than a complete album recital of a record you’ve never heard. Regardless, the whole performance is available to hear/watch over at Stereogum.
Yo La Tengo have a feature in Clash and turn in a World Cafe session for NPR and kick off the new season of The AV Club’s Undercover series, covering The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” – the “core emotion” they get out of it is decidedly different from the one The Afghan Whigs squeezed out of their version. Yo La Tengo play the Toronto Urban Roots Fest on July 7 at Garrison Commons.
Tangentially, a track from the first of James McNew’s Dump vinyl reissues – Superpowerless is out today – is available to download. I Can Hear Music follows April 16.
MP3: Dump – “Superpowerless”
A Music Blog, Yea checks in with Texas’ Midlake, who should have a new record out sometime this year.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Wilco and Nick Lowe at Massey Hall in Toronto
Frank YangBands are always compared to other bands. For new acts, it can be helpful for targeting a sympathetic audience but can also be a hinderance, providing an excuse to be ignored should someone not care for some arbitrary reference point. And should they be so fortunate to endure long enough to define their own identity, a new risk arises – being compared to yourself. That comes in a few flavours – there’s “it sounds like all their other stuff” or “it doesn’t sound as good as their older stuff”, and I’d go so far as to say the former is the more damning as it comes with the distinct whiff of indifference.
This, arguably, is the territory that Wilco have been treading towards over their last couple records. Both Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album) were perfectly fine albums but were more pretty and pleasant than exciting – I argued their merits with those who dismissed the band as “dad-rock” but didn’t explicitly disagree with them. And to be fair, Jeff Tweedy’s had a long career that’s covered a lot of bases and volume levels, and if his muse just wants to sit back and strum the guitar then that’s his prerogative. But one of the downsides of being a successful band, I suppose, is the fact that instead of being able to just bang out a record to document where your head’s at and move on, you have to spend a couple of years touring it around the world before you can try something else.
Trying something new isn’t quite accurate with respect to their new record The Whole Love, out next Tuesday but streaming now at NPR, but that its closest reference point in their catalog is Summerteeth should be enough to get the attention of anyone who’d assumed they were set on cruise control down the middle of the road. It’s certainly their most sonically interesting record in some time, and not in the found-sound Jim O’Rourke sense, as well as containing some of their most pop and experimental efforts in a while. With only a handful of listens from advance streams it’s clearly too early to say where it will eventually settle in the hierarchy of Wilco discography greatness, but it certainly has a good start right out of the blocks.
The band also got a head start on their touring cycle, hitting the road over a week before the new album was released and settling into their now-customary two-night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto last weekend for the second stop of the tour. It’d been almost two years since the last visit but Jeff Tweedy stopped by for a couple solo nights back in March so fans had at least had a fix of hearing their favourite songs live recently, not that that stopped them from packing the theatre again, and twice.
And early. Wilco has toured with a number of acts over the years, both established and not, but I’d never seen so many people in their seats for the opener before… but they’ve never had an opener as legendary as Nick Lowe. Performing solo and acoustic in support of his just-released new album The Old Magic, the former power-pop architect turned professor of sophisticated pop had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand as he charmed with both his banter and songs. His newer material showed his talent for turning a memorable phrase and melody hasn’t dimmed a bit with age, in fact his wit may be even more incisive now with the benefit of wisdom of his years to back it up. But even so, it was his classic material that everyone wanted to hear and he graciously obliged, offering up a run of hits from “All Men Are Liars” and its still somehow timely Rick Astley dig through the irresistible “Cruel To Be Kind” and then an unexpected and gorgeous cover of Elvis Costello’s “Alison”, sounding more poignant with Lowe’s middle-aged vocals than Costello has maybe ever managed. From that highlight he ended even stronger with “When I Write The Book” and finally a plaintive “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding” that had the audience on their feet, allowing him to depart with a standing ovation, each and every clap deserved.
Being on hand for the first three songs of Friday night (photos are from the first show but writeup from the second), I got to witness the mind-bending greatness of their opening with The Whole Love‘s lead track “Art Of Almost”. It’s a song that, had it set the template for the entire album, might well have forced a complete redefinition of what Wilco are about. Whereas in recent records they seemed content to let Nels Cline’s guitar leads contribute any and all weirdness to their songs, “Almost” finds all six members pushing boundaries in different directions, simultaneously and reminding me of early ’00s Radiohead – remember when Wilco were “America’s Radiohead”? – in the best way. Even from the very first listen, it’s a stunning declaration of what Wilco can do, and live it’s exponentially heavier than on album. It’s a hell of a thing. And for Saturday night, we had to wait until song two.
Reports from Friday night were that the band had to cut The Whole Love‘s closing song, the meditative “One Sunday Morning”, on account of curfew restrictions and so it seems they simply decided to roll it over to open the following night’s set. And it’s a beautiful song – one of the album’s highlights even though it dwells at the completely opposite end of the world of music from “Almost”, but certainly doesn’t pack the same visceral impact. But as said, that only had to wait until song two and then it was off to the races. Past Wilco setlists have been relatively predictable things; always entertainingly performed but I have to admit that recently, the notion of maybe not needing to see them every time through town had entered my mind. Perhaps anticipating this, they served up an unexpected set list that in addition to the new material, leaned more to the turn of the century material – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Summerteeth – than any in recent memory with Sky Blue Sky only contributed one song, albeit a jaw-dropping even by Nels’ standards “Impossible Germany”, and Wilco (The Album) was ignored completely.
But it was the first encore that really truly sealed this as one of the great Toronto Wilco shows; opening up with a epically crashing “Misunderstood” – anyone count the “NOTHINGS!”? – and followed with a “Jesus Etc” that Tweedy allowed the audience to sing most of and then a “California Stars” that everyone sang along to. And then. THEN. A one-two Being There punch of “Monday” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” which basically laid me out flat. This lineup, those songs, holy shit. It wasn’t quite the songbook romp that they pulled out the second night opening for Neil Young back in 2008, but that show was also without – and thanks to – Glenn Kotche (their rotation of substitute drummers got to pick the set list for that show). The one-song, second encore of “I’m A Wheel” was almost pointless – there was no topping what had just happened – but at least Pat Sansone got to do his windmills.
In the fifteen or sixteen times I’ve seen them, over all the different lineups, Wilco have never been anything less than consummate professionals on stage. But there was definitely an extra bit of something in this show, even beyond the song selection, that seemed special. The band were extra energized and invigorated – whether because it was early on in the tour or the excitement of playing new material, I don’t know – but if you thought that the band’s best days were behind them or they were getting too settled in, do yourself a favour and see them on this tour and stay at least as long as “Art Of Almost”. Then tell me they’re done.
The Toronto Sun and National Post were on hand for Friday night’s show while Buffalo News, Spin and NOW were also on hand for Saturday’s show. The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Jeff Tweedy, Drowned In Sound with Mikael Jorgensen and The Los Angeles Times with Pat Sansone while Spinner has a chat and NPR a World Cafe session with Nick Lowe. And Wilcoworld has a talk with Bob Ludwig, the mastering engineer who worked on The Whole Love.
Photos: Wilco @ Massey Hall – September 16, 2011
MP3: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Born Alone”
Video: Wilco – “I Love My Label”
Video: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
Video: Wilco – “Box Full Of Letters”
Video: Wilco – “I Must Be High”
Video: Nick Lowe – “All Men Are Liars”
Video: Nick Lowe – “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll)”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Half A Boy And Half A Man”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Cruel To Be Kind”
Video: Nick Lowe – “Crackin’ Up”
Stream: Wilco / The Whole Love
Mojo reports that the classic Guided By Voices lineup has found time to record a new album amidst the past year of touring and will release Let’s Go Eat The Factory on January 1 (which is a Sunday?). Good thing Bob had some songs lying around!
Paste puts The Jayhawks on their electronic edition cover in honour of their new album Mockingbird Time; they’ve also just released a video from it.
Video: The Jayhawks – “She Walks In So Many Ways”
NYC Taper has a set from The Hold Steady in New York last weekend available to download.
Just this weekend, some friends and I were wondering what the usually prolific Magnolia Electric Co were up to; Secretly Canadian has the answer, and it’s not a great one – if you’re a fan of Jason Molina and his work, do help him out with a donation.
Interview talks to Christopher Owens of Girls, who have a new video from Father Son Holy Ghost and will be at The Mod Club on September 27.
Video: Girls – “Honey Bunny”
Paste has a feature piece on Mates Of State while NPR has premiered the latest video from Mountaintops. They’re at The Phoenix on September 28.
Video: Mates Of State – “Palomino”
Daytrotter have posted a session with Low.
EMA has also had their Daytrotter session posted, and up the ante with a new video as well.
Video: EMA – “Marked”
The AV Club has got a stream of the new Dum Dum Girls record Only In Dreams ahead of its September 27 release. They are at Lee’s Palace on October 16.
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Bedroom Eyes”
MP3: Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”
Stream: Dum Dum Girls – “Only In Dreams”
The Financial Times have a feature piece on Warpaint, whose beautifully-shot and performed Rough Trade Sessions is available to watch over at The Fader.
Wears The Trousers interviews Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
The whole of Ivy’s new record All Hours is available to stream.
MP3: Ivy – “Distant Lights”
Stream: Ivy / All Hours
Asobi Seksu have a new video from Fluorescence; they’re at Lee’s Palace opening up for Boris on October 23.
Video: Asobi Seksu – “Perfectly Crystal”
Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Wilco and Liam Finn at Massey Hall in Toronto
Frank YangWhen I reviewed Wilco’s latest Wilco (The Album) back in July, I alluded to the absurdly tight musical chemistry of current lineup and how that effortlessness could actually be perceived as a detriment to the band. The same can be said of the band in performance – yes, they are arguably one of the best live acts on the road today, but with that praise comes certain problems. Like say you’ve seen said band, oh, a dozen times or more in the past decade and a baseline of “amazing” has been established for their shows – it’s very difficult for proceedings to not take on an air of over-familiarity, no matter how good they might be.
The one glorious exception in recent years was the second night of last year’s tour in support of Neil Young at the Air Canada Centre, where an absent Glenn Kotche necessitated a rotation of replacement drummers who got to call the set list. This resulted in an unbelievably spirited and unpredictable set that reached further back into the band’s catalog than they’d gone in Toronto in many, many, many years and the thought of which still brings a goofy grin to the face. So the fact that the band were soliciting requests via their website in advance of the shows made me hope that there’d be a surprise or five in the offing last Thursday night, the second of their two-night stand at Massey Hall.
Support for both nights was Liam Finn, whose acquaintance Wilco made whilst participating in the 7 Worlds Collide project organized by Finn’s father, Neil. And while Finn the younger has surely inherited his father’s innate musicality, he chooses to express it in a decidedly different way than his pop’s perfect pop (sorry – could not resist). Instead, he and collaborator Eliza Jane Barnes – and Glenn Kotche on a few songs – created a garage-rock symphony of looped guitar, voice, drums and keys and augmented it with some hyperactive and acrobatic stage moves that for all their seeming chaos were perfectly choreographed and timed to never miss a beat or cue. It was something to see and hear, and extra points for catering to the city and venue with a cover of “Cinnamon Girl”. Anyone impressed with Finn’s set – and that probably included most who saw it – should note that he’s back in town on October 29 for a show at Lee’s Palace.
The thing about Wilco shows is that, as previously mentioned, you are basically guaranteed a stellar performance. The only variables are the set list and, to a lesser extent, Jeff Tweedy’s mood. He’s never been outright surly, but playfulness isn’t a given either so catching him in particularly good spirits, as he was this evening, was a treat. Granted, it wasn’t until halfway through the night that he even addressed the crowd with a simple, “how you doing?” but interaction only grew from there, as he let the audience handle vocals on “Jesus, Etc” (though sadly, not everyone seemed to remember the words) and then mugging it up through “Hummingbird”. Nothing hugely atypical, but he was definitely having fun with it.
As to the song selection, the set list for the Wednesday show had a few treats I was sad to miss including “Shot In The Arm” and “Can’t Stand It”, but hoped that meant at least that many older gems for Thursday night. Those hopes dimmed when, as the main set was reaching its conclusion, it became clear that they had not yet and were unlikely to play anything pre-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – at least not before the encore. Wilco (The Album) was well-represented, as was YHF and A Ghost Is Born – I hadn’t realized how long it’d been since I’d heard some of those tunes – but the much-anticipated catalog excavation wasn’t happening. What exactly had people been requesting? “Walken”?
The encore opened with “Wilco (The Song)” and the next song opened with a drum beat that was so familiar but hadn’t been heard in so long – “Misunderstood”. Hello, Being There, it’s been a while. Liam Finn and Eliza Jane Barnes were then invited out to join the band on “California Stars” and as they left, I noticed a stage hand ushering someone else onto the side of the stage. Another special guest, Ms Leslie Feist. Tweedy dryly noted, “I think she’s from around here” to great applause before they performed the (Album) duet, “You And I” – a good reading of a song that’s a favourite from the new record, but not as transcendent as I’d hoped. But that transcendent moment would come a couple songs later with A.M.‘s “Casino Queen”, which I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen them play and which they absolutely tore to pieces. C’mon Jeff, you can’t tell me that wasn’t insanely fun to play? It was certainly a blast to hear. Bust out the old stuff more often! They had time to finish off with, “I’m A Wheel” and then it was a wave and goodbye.
Was it a hell of a show, just like pretty much every other Wilco show? Yes, it was. Was the final set list the treasure trove of rarities that I’d probably unrealistically been hoping for? No, not even close to be honest, but we’ll always have the Being There suite from the ACC in 2008. I still love you, Wilco. See you next time.
And next time might be sooner than you think – the previously announced cross-Canada tour set for next February goes on sale this week. For southern Ontario, that’s February 23 at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, February 24 at Centennial Hall in London and March 1 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – presales for all open at 10AM on October 21, which is to say tomorrow.
And note that media were allowed to shoot photos on night one but I had a ticket for night two, hence the photo sets from both.
Photos: Wilco @ Massey Hall – October 14, 2009
Photos: Wilco, Liam Finn @ Massey Hall – October 15, 2009
MP3: Wilco – “What Light”
MP3: Liam Finn – “Plane Crash”
Video: Wilco – “What Light”
Video: Wilco – “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
Video: Wilco – “Box Full Of Letters”
Video: Wilco – “I Must Be High”
Video: Liam Finn – “Second Chance”
Video: Liam Finn – “Gather To The Chapel”
Video: Liam Finn – “Better To Be”
MySpace: Liam Finn
Billboard talks to Jay Farrar about One Fast Move or I’m Gone, his Jack Kerouac-themed project with Ben Gibbard. He also clarifies that his project with Nora Guthrie is not going to be another volume of Mermaid Avenue, but something different. Another track from the Kerouac record is available to stream at Stereogum.
Jason Molina talks to Pitchfork about Molina & Johnson, the collaboration with Will Johnson that has yielded the album Molina & Johnson, due out November 3. Will Johnson, incidentally, is also working on the aforementioned Nora Guthrie project with Jay Farrar. Everyone’s workin’ with everyone.
PitchforkTV hangs out in Oslo with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
The New York Times, Exclaim, Chartattack and BBC talk to Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of The Swell Season, whose Strict Joy is out next week and who play Massey Hall on November 3.
MP3: The Swell Season – “Low Rising”
Sufjan Stevens’ expressway love letter The BQE is out today and streaming at Spinner. There’s a screening of the film portion on September 25 at Innis Town Hall at the University of Toronto. The Quietus also has an interview with Stevens.
Stream: Sufjan Stevens / The BQE
Prefix has an interview with Ray Davies.
Band Of Skulls have set a date at the El Mocambo for November 13. The Line Of Best Fit investigates the musical tastes of bassist Emma Richardson and Rolling Stone declares them a “breaking band”.
MP3: Band Of Skulls – “Blood”
Fanfarlo have finally released the dates of their North American tour and it includes a December 15 show at the El Mocambo! YAY – Christmas comes early!
MP3: Fanfarlo – “Luna”
Blurt, The Independent and The Los Angeles Times have feature interviews with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, the last of which reveals the band have recorded a cover album of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon – and they proved it yesterday by performing “Eclipse” on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic.
NYC Taper talks to Darby Cicci of The Antlers.
Wye Oak give an interview to Tiny Mix Tapes.
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Nicole Atkins changes labels, band names, salutes Jacko
Lucia HolmIt’s been not quite two years since the release of Nicole Atkins’ debut album Neptune City and even taking into account the relentless touring that followed, you’d think she’s about due for a new record soon, right? As she tells Spinner, work on the follow-up is well underway with 38 songs written set to be pared down to a baker’s dozen for the record. But whenever it does come out, don’t look for it on Columbia Records; according to the New Jersey singer, she and the storied label “got divorced” and while she hasn’t settled on a new home, she’s looking to the indie route this time around. Also on the topic of change, her band The Sea has decided to adopt and adjective and they’ll now be known as Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.
But until the new album is done and has a new home, Atkins is keeping busy – she was an integral part of AC Newman’s last studio and touring bands, she’s been playing gigs at JFK Airport, keeping a blog, rocking the Twitter and taking the time to record a little tribute to the late Michael Jackson. It would have been interesting to hear her try one of the funkier numbers, but a torch song to a rat works as well.
MP3: Nicole Atkins – “Ben”
Also about due for a new record is Lightspeed Champion. He’s got a shiny new website and therein, says “The album is in the hands of the label for whenever they want to release it..but they’re good with that kind a thing, it’s their job! No idea when that will be though.” Which at least implies that it’s completed though it doesn’t give much hope that the October 2009 release date I had written down is still a go. But in the meanwhile, he’s offered a new song to those who register on his site entitled “Heavy Purple”, which is of a decidedly different flavour from anything found on Falling Off The Lavender Bridge.
Jarvis Cocker is also giving away the tunes – you can grab a different edit of Futher Complications’ “You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)” from his website. Hey Jarv, don’t think I haven’t noticed you didn’t add any more North American tour dates. ‘Cause I totally did.
Beatroute talks to The Decemberists’ guitarist Chris Funk and JAM to drummer Jon Moen. They’re at the Kool Haus on August 3.
Spin has excerpted a portion of this month’s Wilco cover story online and NewsOK has a conversation with Jeff Tweedy about how the band’s five-night stand at the Riviera in Chicago in December 2007 was a defining moment for the current lineup.
As the September 8 release of Yo La Tengo’s new album Popular Songs draws nearer, they’ve released information about the bonuses tied into the Buy Early Get Now pre-order promotion, the full Fall tour itinerary surrounding the previously-announced October 3 date at the Opera House in Toronto has been unveiled and there’s a second MP3 from the album now available for grabs.
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Here To Fall”
M83′s Anthony Gonzalez tells The Riverfront Times exactly what it takes to get slapped by a Frenchman.
The Soulsavers, the latest project fronted by Screaming Tree/Gutter Twin/general man about town Mark Lanegan have slated a Fall North American tour including a September 25 date at the Mod Club in support of their new album Broken, out August 18.
eMusic, The Dallas Observer and Express Night Out talk to Jason Molina of The Magnolia Electric Co, who just released their new album Josephine and are sharing a new MP3 from it.
MP3: Magnolia Electric Co – “Little Sad Eyes”
Here’s a guy who hasn’t been sighted in these pages lately – Sufjan Stevens. Some are waiting for part the third in his albums saluting the fifty states; they can keep waiting, because he’s turned his sights on a geographical topic a bit more micro than that – the Brookyln-Queens Expressway. He staged the musical/cinematic/whatever production live in November of 2007 and come October 20, he’ll release a multimedia package consisting of a CD of the show, a DVD of the film portions and a ViewMaster slide of… well, unless you have a ViewMaster you’ll never know. He’s also re-releasing an old electronic album dedicated to the best (read: mine) year of the Chinese Zodiac entitled Enjoy Your Rabbit on October 6, so either of these could be the filling out his set when he hits the road this Fall, and yes, there should be a Toronto date. Probably right around the time he plays Pop Montreal. Keep an eye out.
Video: The BQE- A Film By Sufjan Stevens
There’s a new video from the new Hidden Cameras record Origin:Orphan, due out September 22.
Video: The Hidden Cameras – “In The NA”
The National Post talks to The Rural Alberta Advantage. They’re at the Horseshoe on July 30.
Julian Plenti is the solo pseudonym of Paul Banks, lead singer of Interpol. The record is called Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper and is out August 4. Whether or not a solo record from the lead singer of Interpol is necessary is unclear.
MP3: Julian Plenti – “Games For Days”
MP3: Julian Plenti – “Fun That We Have”
The Tripwire have a feature piece on Dinosaur Jr. They’re playing the Phoenix on September 30.
Daytrotter has a session and Cincinnati City Beat an interview with Bad Veins. They’re in town at the El Mocambo on August 2.
Buffalo News and Creative Loafing have interviews with Jason Lytle.
Chart has details on the second Flight Of The Conchords album, due out October 20 and bearing the title of I Told You I Was Freaky. It’ll contain all the songs featured in season two of the HBO show and while the second series got off to an alarmingly slow start, both comedically and musically, it took a serious upswing about midway through – right around the time that Michel Gondry sat in the director’s chair and gave us this bit of brilliance.
Video: Flight Of The Conchords – “Too Many Dicks On The Dance Floor”
Friday, May 29th, 2009
'60s resurrection/reconstitution tours featuring Love and The Zombies come to Toronto
www.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.