Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

It's Not Over

I swear, I had intended to have my reviews of last weekend’s Over The Top Fest done and up by today… but the fact that you’re reading an excuse instead should tell you all you need to know about that. Hoping to have that together for tomorrow, but for today, there’s this.

I can’t imagine there’s any two career moves that any musician is more wary of than a) having a hit with a cover song or b) having a hit via a TV show (note: my definition of “hit” in this context means less a #1 radio smash than simply a song that common folk might recognize). While the exposure from either of these scenarios is surely precious, they can also turn into dead ends or pigeonholes if you don’t have the talent to prove yourself noteworthy on your own merits.

I made these points in January after seeing The Last Town Chorus play a hauntingly beautiful free show at the Horseshoe, but since then I’ve gotten a copy of their new album Wire Waltz and am happy to report that it proves that band principal Megan Hickey is worthy of being known for far more than just a weepy cover of David Bowie’s “Modern Love” in Grey’s Anatomy. While it’s not that far off from the stark, austere sounds of her self-titled debut, it does introduce arrangements that are richer enough to no longer sound ascetic and some tempos that, if not exactly jaunty, do offer some more upbeat numbers that were lacking on the first record. But most importantly, Hickey’s sweet but weary voice and plaintive, otherworldly lap steel guitar are in fine form and ensure that Last Town Chorus sound quite unlike anything else out there right now.

At that show back in January, Hickey promised to be back in town sometime in March and while she’s made good on her promise to return to Toronto, her timetable was off by a couple months. The Last Town Chorus will be playing at the El Mocambo this coming Monday night and courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to the show as well as two copies of the new CD. Yes, that doesn’t really make for even prize distributions but sometimes that’s how it’s got to be. I’m giving these away as two grand prizes consisting of the passes and CD and one not-so-grand-but-still-pretty-damn-good prize of the passes. To enter, email me at contests AT with your full name in the body and “I want to see The Last Town Chorus” in the subject line. Contest closes at midnight, May 11.

Hickey talks to New York Magazine, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and The Hartford Courant about the TV show thing, her choice of instrument and the music it makes.

MP3: The Last Town Chorus – “It’s Not Over”
MP3: The Last Town Chorus – “Modern Love” (live)
MP3: The Last Town Chorus – “Change Your Mind”
MP3: The Last Town Chorus – “Oregon”
Video: The Last Town Chorus – “Modern Love” (YouTube)
MySpace: The Last Town Chorus

Being There offers up an introduction to XTC.

Incendiary offers up a twopart interview with Charlotte Hatherley.

God Is In The TV and Sixeyes talk to Matt Berninger of The National about Boxer, out May 22.

Radio Free Canuckistan digs up an old interview with Jeff Tweedy dating all the way back to April 2002 and the release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The Phoenix talks to Tweedy in the here and now. Update: RFC has posted a second ’02 Tweedy interview, this one from November.

Richard Lloyd tells Billboard that following a June 16 show in Central Park, New York, he’s leaving Television for good “in order to concentrate my own magnetic force and supernatural powers on my own career”. Yeah. While the band has split up before and gone through long, long hiatuses, this has a tone of finality to it that makes me so glad I was able to see them play last June. Lloyd is in town tomorrow night for a show at the Horseshoe wherein he’ll play some Hendrix covers and material from his re-released solo record Field of Fire and his forthcoming album Radiant Monkey – the one that’s apparently too good to play second fiddle to Television.

The Fiery Furnaces are going for an intimate vibe when they come to town on June 25, opting to play the Horseshoe rather than their considerably larger usual digs. Tickets for that are $25, Pitchfork has full tour dates.

And Swedes The Soundtrack Of Our Lives will be doing a couple shows in Toronto during NxNE – one at the Silver Dollar on June 8 and another that I’ve forgotten details about. It was announced at the NxNE press conference last night, but I think I was distracted by the wine and the sight of Dave Foley’s nipples.

By : Frank Yang at 8:25 am
Category: Uncategorized
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