Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Hump From Bending

To Hidden Cameras fans, the release of their new album has been a long time in coming. The public initially got a peek at three of the songs on Awoo in June of last year when they were released in demo form on the “Learning The Lie” 7″ and many of the songs were unveiled last November as part of “In The Boneyard”, their collaborative performance with the Toronto Dance Theatre. Hell, they had even announced the album title over a year ago.

But next Tuesday, AWOO will be made available to the world – or Canada, at least, via Outside Music. It won’t be out in the US till September 19, courtesy of Arts & Crafts. I’ve generally found that one Hidden Cameras record sounds an awful lot like the last, give or take some refinements in arrangement or production value, but when you’re such an utterly unique-sounding band, there’s no shame in that. Joel Gibb’s lyrics have become less titillating – a cursory look through the lyrics reveals no mention of watersports or enemas or anything of the like though other bodily fluids are still very much in play – but they’re also much stronger and evocative while the musical backing remains alternately effervescently jubilant and dreamily solemn.

But the main reason this album sounds so familiar to me isn’t because it’s a rehash of Missisauga Goddam, but because the songs had been so ingrained into my skull from seeing “In The Boneyard” last year. Granted, I got a refresher when seeing them at SxSW in March but even then, I was struck by how strongly the tunes had persisted in my memory. This is remarkable because “In The Boneyard” was such a visual experience that I wouldn’t have expected the aural component to have made as indelible an impression as it did. Even now, when listening to the record, my little mental cinema can replay the accompanying dance numbers quite clearly and it’s still a joy to watch. In my head. Man, it’d have been awesome if one of those shows had been videotaped and was included as a bonus DVD…

The Hidden Cameras machine is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the release of the new record. Next Tuesday they’ll be performing on MTV Live for MTV Canada – yes, we apparently have an MTV in Canda – and tickets for the show are free. Go here for more info. And again with the free, the Cameras will headline the Saturday night of the Indie Unlimited festival at Harbourfront next weekend. That’ll be followed by some fairly extensive touring across Ontario including another Toronto show as part of the Virgin Festival on September 9 – a show that is decidedly NOT free.

The American tour kicks off in mid-November and carries on into December, which sadly means that there probably won’t be a new Toronto Dance Theatre collaboration this year. Also targeted to the US market though sure to be available here as well is a limited edition 7″ single for “Death Of A Tune” which will be available through Arts & Crafts on September 5. And CokeMachineGlow has a combination interview/review of the new album. Meaning they interview Joel Gibb and review AWOO. You can’t interview an album.

Video: The Hidden Cameras – “Awoo” (MOV)
MySpace: The Hidden Cameras

Tiny Mix Tapes talks to Oakley Hall, in town on September 11 opening for M Ward. I’ve heard the release of Ward’s Post-War has been pushed back a week to August 29 but haven’t been able to confirm that officially. But if you’re looking for it next week and can’t find it, then maybe that’s why. But the first, wonderfully animated video for the album is definitely out.

Video: M Ward – “Chinese Translation”

news.com.au tallks to Howling Bells about the long, slow climb to success. You can hear their recent radio session for XFM here.

Neko Case advises The New York Times on what’s hip in pop culture.

A couple show announcements for the Phoenix – Kasabian are there on September 27, $23.50, and Regina Spektor on October 10, $18.50. And Pretty Girls Make Graves will be in town November 4 at a venue to be determined (via For The Records).

Ira Kaplan explains the title of Yo La Tengo’s new album to Pitchfork. He blames James. The Mercury News also has an interview. I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass is out September 12 and they’re at the Phoenix October 2.

And finally, Pitchfork also reports that Interpol have gotten on the major label roller coaster and signed to Capitol. You may recall that Coolfer reported that the ‘Pol had signed to Interscope back in March, and those rumours turned out to be false. This one smells true, though. Tiny Mix Tapes expresses appropriate indie snob disgust. The rest of you, get in line.

np – Richard Buckner / Meadow

By : Frank Yang at 8:22 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. John says:

    What do you think of Buckner’s new album?

  2. Ryan Catbird says:

    Hmmm, next Tuesday is August 22nd, right? I can’t track down any info indicating that it’s available *anywhere* next week, what’s your source?

  3. Frank says:

    ryan – you’re talking about the Hidden Cameras record?

    It’s on their Canadian label’s website:


    and on all the PR materials and communications I got. It was originally supposed to be out today, but got pushed back a week.

  4. David says:

    I happily published a Hidden Cameras review on Torontoist a few months back (eager me!) at


    Suffice to say, I was pleased. I’m still kicking myself for missing the Boneyard show, though.

  5. graig says:

    Frank, I’ve been a huge Cameras fan since 2001 and that was quite possibly one of the best write-ups about them I’ve ever read. I still get stuck in much of the old gay-church-folk music tag that they were brandishing back at the get go, but they have/Gibb has moved so far beyond that and you captured their "now" better than anyone.
    I’m thrilled for the new album and had I the time/money, I’d follow them around like a modern-day Deadhead.