Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Stuck For The Summer

I always find it a bit tough previewing a show or reviewing an album just days before I see said act live, and then have to write up a review. After all, I’d have surely used up all my good material in the first go-around, leaving me with… what for the follow-up? Just a review of the show, I guess.

Case in point, PEI’s Two Hours Traffic, whose new record Little Jabs I gave the once-over on Sunday and in celebration of the record’s release yesterday, they played a free show at the Horseshoe last night before a pretty full and enthusiastic room. And anyone who wasn’t paying attention at first was before long, their perfect pop is just that irresistible. As a live act, Two Hours Traffic aren’t going to win any awards for on-stage antics or excess charisma. Instead, the quartet concentrated intently on playing their songs and playing them well and in this, for thirty-plus hook-filled, harmony-laden minutes, they succeeded. They sounded exceptionally tight, yet played with just enough looseness to offer some extra bounce relative to the studio recordings.

And what this show did more than anything was give me an even deeper appreciation for Little Jabs‘ perfect blend of breeziness and earnestness, and I already liked this record quite a bit. Songs that were stuck in my head from listening to the record repeatedly last week came even more alive and I’m actually a bit worried that they won’t be leaving anytime soon (I went to bed with “Nighthawks” in my head and woke up with “Heroes of the Sidewalk”), though there’s far worse cranial soundtracks one could have. It’s always exciting to see a band as young and fresh-faced as these guys are achieve as much as they already have. It’ll be fun to watch where they go from here (I mean that figuratively – literally, they’re going to play continuing to tour Southern Ontario including a Saturday afternoon set at Hillside in Guelph).

The band talks to Exclaim! about the origins of their band name (Shakespeare!) and life in the littlest province (expensive but relaxed!) while Durham Region News asks them about recording the album. Director Ron Mann talks to Chart about making the band’s video for “Jezebel”. They’re also featured this week at I Heart Music.

Photos: Two Hours Traffic @ The Horseshoe – July 24, 2007
MP3: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer”
Stream: Two Hours Traffic / Little Jabs
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Stuck For The Summer” (YouTube)
Video: Two Hours Traffic – “Jezebel” (YouTube)
MySpace: Two Hours Traffic

Drowned In Sound has info on Land Of Talk’s new album… except it’s their old album. Except not. The band will re-release Applause Cheer Boo Hiss in the UK on October 22 – by my count the fourth release of this album – but with three extra tracks, thus bumping it up from mini-album status to official full-length. But where are these tracks from? Freshly recorded and a preview of the next record? Cast-offs from same? Dug out of the vaults? Ask them when they play the El Mocambo on September 4.

Some digging has revealed that Nicole Atkins & The Sea will indeed be on the bill with The Raveonettes at Lee’s Palace on October 14 – this comes from tour dates posted by Gliss, who themselves are also on the tour. Indisputable proof? Not really, but enough that I’ve added it to my calendar. And so should you.

Ryan Adams returns on September 21 to play a venue a little more spacious than last time… Massey Hall. Full tour dates at Pitchfork.

Ohbijou will be playing a free show at Harbourfront Centre on August 10 as part of the Hot’N’Spicy Food Festival. Because if there’s two adjectives I think of when I think of Ohbijou, it’s “hot” and “spicy”.

Sloan and The Golden Dogs will make up one power-poptacular bill at the CNE Bandshell on August 25. I’ve no idea if these shows are extra admission or included with entrance to the Ex.

Exclaim offers a quick guide to all of this year’s Polaris Music Prize nominees including The Dears, who tell Chart that after this weekend’s festival double-header at Hillside on Saturday and the Rogers Picnic on Sunday, they’re done playing live for the year and are working on their next album.

The Guelph Tribune previews Hillside.

Muzzle Of Bees gets nine questions with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste. Droste and the Bear will be in town on September 20 for a show at the Mod Club – full Fall tour dates at Pitchfork.

The Village Voice tries to talk to Voxtrot, gets a fire drill instead. They’ll be at the Mod Club October 10.

Pitchfork has details on Jens Lekman’s new record Night Falls Over Kortedala, out in North America on October 9.

AOL Music Canada and The Toronto Star consider the current reunion trend, using Smashing Pumpkins and The Police as case studies, and not necessarily in a good way.

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. matthew says:

    That Two Hours Traffic album is so great…I’m giving it away on my site this week, and I just can’t say enough how much I like it. "Backseat Sweetheart" is probably my favourite song, though.

  2. Idiotjed says:

    "Little Jabs" will be my summer ’07 album.

    Sweetest, catchiest power pop i’ve heard in quite some time.

    I’ve been a fan of these guys since I first heard "Better Sorry Than Safe" on "The Wedge" a few years ago.

    I have a feeling they’ll hit big pretty damn soon.

  3. Laura Schneider says:

    Yes, it’s true…Nicole Atkins and the Sea WILL be on the Raveonettes’ fall tour; I interviewed her this week during her area appearances at the Mercury Lounge, Red (in Red Bank, NJ), and the Stone Pony, and she told me herself. She just has to find a moment to post the dates before she takes off tomorrow on tour with Chris Isaak. Exciting times for Ms. Atkins and the guys!!

    Laura in NJ

  4. Caleb says:

    My fav band I found this summer was at Summerfest in Milwaukee. White Light Riot probably played at the smallest stage I’ve ever seen but they cranked out some awesome jams.