Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Know Who You Are

By rights, it should not have been nearly this difficult to write up something to describe Halifax’s Dog Day. I mean, as nebulous a descriptor as “indie rock” is, it absolutely fits as the shortest distance between two points for their latest record Night Group. With janglesome guitars, co-ed vocals, classic pop sensibilities and a stripped-down, no note wasted aesthetic they fall perfectly in line with their Maritime forebears like Sloan, Eric’s Trip, jale and Hardship Post.

And while that’s all well and good and accurate, but I hate to leave it at that because it sells Night Group far short. I’ve spun the album a lot in the last while trying to gather my thoughts and each time, something new or different jumps out at me – like rolling a 20-sided die (RPG geeks unite!) and having a different result each time. But what I find most fascinating is the way they try to balance their innate pop instincts, which recall the likes of The Go-Betweens and mid-era Wedding Present, with their obvious affection for heavier, noisier and decidedly minor-key styles in the vein of Sonic Youth. As a result, more than a few songs start out ominously before exploding in a hail of razor-sharp hooks, yet still delivered with a straight face. I’m not sure if this recipe is deliberate or incidental but either way, the tension it creates is delicious.

I was going to finish that last paragraph off with something like “…and it sets this Dog apart from the pack” but didn’t. You’re welcome. JAM! and The Toronto Star get to know Dog Day, who are into the home stretch of a three-month North American tour and stop in at the Drake Underground in Toronto on Saturday, December 1.

MP3: Dog Day – “Oh Dead Life”
MP3: Dog Day – “Use Your Powers”
Video: Dog Day – “Oh Dead Life” (Blip)
Video: Dog Day – “Lydia” (YouTube)
MySpace: Dog Day

The Airfields have finally finished work on their debut full-length, or at least intend to very soon as they’ve got a CD release show scheduled at Sneaky Dee’s for February 2 of next year. Happy Groundhog Day indeed.

JAM! talks to Pete Carmichael of The Diableros.

Joel Gibb briefs Exclaim! about what 2008 has in store for The Hidden Cameras and mentions that the band will be playing the Hart House at U of T on December 13 for an AIDS benefit.

Chart brings holiday tidings from The New Pornographers in the form of a digital-only Christmas EP out on Tuesday in the US and on December 11 in Canada.

Here’s a show announcement that’s a little odd, a little unexpected and a lot welcome – February 9 at the Mod Club, Keren Ann and Dean & Britta. Will Keren Ann rock it up a bit or will Dean & Britta mellow out some? We’ll have to wait and see. Full tour dates are available here and head over to A Head Full Of Wishes for details on Dean and Britta’s limited-edition (500 pieces) Christmas 7″ single, available to pre-order now.

Crawdaddy looks at how everything old is new again, talking to The Hold Steady, The Pipettes and Jack Penate as research.

The Cleveland Free Times and The Georgia Straight talk to Jose Gonzalez, in town next Friday for an in-store at Sonic Boom and a proper show at the Mod Club.

The Tripwire reports that a release date has finally been set for the new Portishead record – they say record number three will be out in the UK on March 31 and speculate that means April 1 for North America. Of course, we all know what April 1 is, right? That’s right. TUESDAY.

By : Frank Yang at 8:16 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. robert thompson says:

    Frank: The Dog Day MP3 links don’t seem to work…

  2. Frank says:

    "Oh Dead Life" works for me. I had to fix "Use Your Powers" though

  3. Thierry says:

    Keren Ann and Dean & Britta should be a perfect fit. Thanks for the news!

  4. barclay says:

    Keren Ann will likely rock it up a bit. She did at the Rivoli last spring, which was much less sleepy than her lovely records.

  5. lukas says:

    Hell yes. These guys are super awesome and Night Group is one of my favourite records this year.