Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Falling Off The Lavender Bridge

Photo by Frank Yang

Anyone who frequents these parts knows that I’ve been quite taken with Falling Off The Lavender Bridge, the debut album from Lightspeed Champion. And even though you won’t be able to swing a stick in Austin next week without hitting Mr Dev Hynes, I’ve been pretty psyched about his show here in Toronto last night for some time so even the 4000th winter storm to hit these parts in the past three weeks wasn’t going to keep me home.

Hynes ambled onstage dressed for the weather in a ski sweater and fur hat accompanied by his only bandmate on this tour, violinist Mike Siddell, and proceeded to deliver a charmingly shambolic set. Playing without a set list, he entertained requests from the audience (were people really requesting Test Icicles songs?), rattled off some amusing anecdotes about a MuchMusic interview and the beef refrigeration practices at Wendy’s and – oh yes, he played some songs. A couple new ones, an unidentified cover (Update: “Heart In A Cage” by The Strokes – thanks, all) and a fair number of Lavender Bridge tracks.

Obviously, with just two people there was no way he was going to reproduce the wonderful orchestration on the record but to their credit, the two of them did alright for themselves – songs like “Dry Lips”, “Galaxy Of The Lost” and epic-length set closer “Midnight Surprise” all fared quite well in stripped down form. The violin is really a very versatile instrument and was able to adequately stand in for the full string sections and my brain filled in the rest of the missing arrangements – apparently the songs are already that embedded in my consciousness. Obviously, in a perfect world there’d be a Lightspeed Champion tour with full band and orchestra and Emmy The Great on vox but I don’t know that he’ll ever find the audience over here to justify the logistics. But one can hope, and in the interim settle for stalking Hynes around Austin next week.

Photos: Lightspeed Champion @ The Horseshoe – March 4, 2008
MP3: Lightspeed Champion – “Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk”
MP3: Lightspeed Champion – “Waiting Game”
Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Galaxy Of The Lost”
Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Tell Me What It’s Worth”
Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Midnight Surprise”
Video: Lightspeed Champion – “Midnight Surprise” (short film)
MySpace: Lightspeed Champion

Synthesis asks British Sea Power if they like rock music. They’re at Lee’s Palace on May 16.

The Times has a sit-down (and walk around Oxford) with all the members of Radiohead. Their recent Rolling Stone cover story is now online as well. They have a date at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 15.

The Charlatans, perhaps drawing inspiration from Radiohead’s distribution model or perhaps being realistic about the market’s interest in what they’re up to, have elected to give away their new album You Cross My Path for free via XFM. I gave up on the Charlatans a few albums ago when they seemed determined to remake themselves as a disco band but this new one is a pleasant surprise – it’s quite a solid, if slightly anonymous, record. There’s nothing especially outstanding but the fact that the band still seems energized and to sincerely give a damn is to be applauded.

Album: The Charlatans / You Cross My Path
MP3: The Charlatans – “Oh! Vanity”
MP3: The Charlatans – “You Cross My Path”
Video: The Charlatans – “Oh Vanity”
Video: The Charlatans – “You Cross My Path”

Billboard reports that Spiritualized’s new record Songs in A & E will have a North American release on June 3, just a couple weeks after the May 19 release date in the rest of the world.

Drowned In Sound, Gigwise and The Irish Independent talk to Elbow’s Guy Garvey in advance of the release of The Seldom Seen Kid, out April 22 in North America. Stereogum has a new track from the album up for stream.

Harp talks to Scott Paterson and Adele Bethel of Sons & Daughters about butting heads with producer Bernard Butler in making one of my favourite records of the year so far, This Gift. They’re at Lee’s Palace on March 26.

The Toronto Sun makes the most of their recent time spent with Ray Davies, churning out an interview about his new solo record Working Man’s Cafe, the odds of a Kinks reunion and they also offer a recommended discography though Rolling Stone one-ups them with a complete discography review. Davies plays the Danforth Music Hall on April 3.

By : Frank Yang at 8:28 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Michael says:

    Hey Frank,

    The cover song Lightspeed Champ played was Soma by The Strokes. Have fun in SXSW.


  2. Torr says:

    I’ve got a couple mp3s from the new Elbow album up, including the duet with Richard Hawley:

  3. Frank says:

    Soma? Really? I used to have Is This It and didn’t recognize it at all. huh.

  4. Ricky Lam says:

    i think he meant heart in a cage by the strokes

  5. Frank says:

    yes, those were the lyrics I remember and that would explain why I didn’t recognize it as I’ve not heard that Strokes record.

    I feel better now.