Saturday, October 30th, 2004

Soft Revolution

Exclaim! dedicates their November cover to the history of Stars and the creation of their latest album, Set Yourself On Fire, which was released this past month in Canada and will be out in the rest of the world early next year. I don’t have a copy yet, but I hear it’s excellent – much more extroverted than Heart or Nightsongs. I will be sure to get a copy before I start assembling any year-end lists, however, as I suspect it’ll be worthy of consideration. I’ve just been spending waaaay too much money lately. Anyway, they’re on tour out west right now but will be back in Toronto in mid-December to play a show at the Mod Club. Details when I have ’em. And if you’re interested, you can see their performance for KCRW ‘s Morning Becomes Eclectic from last year here (RealVideo format).

I remember the first time I was introduced to Stars – it was at local Britpop/indie dance night Blow-Up at the old El Mocambo, at which I was a regular in my salad days. I think it must have been early 2000 or so (my memory ain’t what it used to be) and when my friends and I got to the ElMo, we were greeted with the odd sight of instruments set up on stage. There was a guitar, bass and keyboard and maybe a short rack of some description, but no drum kit. Since real bands have drums, there was some speculation that they were up there as props of some sort. Either way, no one seemed to know what was going on with them, and for the next couple hours people just danced around the instruments, surprisingly respectfully. Nothing got bumped or knocked over. At around 2AM, the DJ stopped the music and introduced the night’s ‘special guests’, a band from Montreal called Stars. I was intrigued, though I thought it was a terrible band name. A bunch of punters left immediately, perturbed at having their groove interrupted, but I stuck around for a bit to see what the deal was. Now this was waaay back in the band’s early days, so they were considerably, er, less polished than they are today. And wimpier. I stuck around for about four or five songs which didn’t make much of an impression and left after their cover of “This Charming Man”. Frankly, I didn’t think much of them, thought their singer was a bit of a dink and didn’t expect to hear from them again. Guess I was wrong.

NOW previews last night’s CD release show for Memphis, the side-project featuring Stars frontman Torquil Campbell and some other guy. Their debut record I Dreamed We Fell Apart came out at the end of August.

SubPop continues to bolster their roster with big names. Their newest signees? Sleater-Kinney. They start recording their next album next week with Dave Fridmann and hope for a late Spring/early Summer release.

Death Cab For Cutie are really getting into this whole political thing. Chris Walla talks to the Las Vegas Mercury and Nick Harmer talks to The GSU Signal about the whole activist-y deal. Links from LHB.

np – The Chameleons / What Does Anything Mean? Basically

By : Frank Yang at 9:21 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. mishie says:

    the new stars album is such a disappointment….gone are the warm, pretty synths…and the songs just don’t do it for me, less immediately catchy.

  2. bozairzere says:

    that rules, your into the chameleons!!

  3. Eugene says:

    hey frank- any thoughts on the new Luna?

  4. Paul says:

    I think the new Stars album is a vast improvement over the first two. They were just too precious most of the time, and now they sound like a rock band. w00t!

  5. Frank says:

    While I haven’t heard the album, I’m with Paul on this one. Their utter feyness is one of the things I had to get over before appreciating the band – if the new record is more reflective of their live experience, that’s a good thing.

    Chameleons in da hizzouse! I am indeed a Chameleons fan and was grateful to have been able to see them during their brief reunion tour.

    Eugene – I just got the Luna today, first impressions are very good. I’ll post more about it in the upcoming days.