Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

How Now

My enthusiasm for Brooklyn’s The Jealous Girlfriends may have been cemented by their ass-kicking, if hardly attended, show at the Drake last October but it was instigated by their self-titled album which I’d gotten in all its CD-R, no artwork glory via CD Baby last Fall. Their killer pop, built off of churning guitars, burbling synths and glorious vocal interplay from Holly Miranda and Josh Abbott, defies easy categorization not by refusing to sound like any specific genre or era, but by sounding like all of them at once and turned up loud. Sufficed to say, I was/am fond of the record.

Which is why I am approaching the upcoming re-release of said record by their new label, Montreal-based Good Fences (April 22 in Canada and May 13 in the US) with a bit of trepidation. You see, it’s largely the same record and while there’s now some nice artwork, liner notes and one new track – they’ve also shuffled the running order. I know in this day and age the things like the album and running order is a bit of an outmoded concept, but it’s still somewhat sacred to me and I’m having a bit of a time wrapping my head around the rebuilt record. The aforementioned new addition “Secret Identity” now starts things off and it’s a decent enough tune, though I’d have preferred to hear a more fully-realized version of “Monkey Brains”, the demo version of which is streaming on the band’s MySpace and which they trotted out at the Drake show.

From that point on, though, things get familiarly unfamiliar. Whereas “Machines”, all mystery and foreboding, felt like the perfect entry point on the original sequence, it’s now traded places with the much bouncier and accessible “How Now” which used to be the penultimate track. Simliarly, the drone of “Heiroglyphics” and the jauntiness of “Robuxulla” have also swapped. I can see the logic – the CD-R version was more backloaded as far as the more straightforward pop songs went but I felt it had a more cohesive arc to it, as a record. I’m glad, however, that the record still closes on a gentle note with “Carry Me”. Definitely the right way to go out. I’m sure a lot of this is just the fact that the final edition is different from what I’m used to and like all right-thinking individuals, I fear change. But for the time being, I’ve got both versions of the record on my iPod and time will tell which one eventually wins the place of favour for good. Though maybe it really doesn’t matter… people are just going to rip them into their computer music library software of choice and hit “shuffle” anyways, right?

Well thanks to Ideal Friends, you could have a copy of the CD to listen to or resequence as you see fit. I’ve got ten (10) copies of the new CD to give away and, if you like, I’ll email you the running order of the old CD-R… To enter, email me at contests AT with “I wish I had a jealous girlfriend” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest is open only to residents of Canada – sorry American cousins – and will close at midnight, April 7.

That, incidentally, is the same night the band is here in Toronto opening up for Nada Surf at the Opera House. They’ll accompany them for a couple weeks around the east coast and then, in late May, they pile into the van again for a continent-crossing jaunt with Sea Wolf. Full dates and routing here.

MP3: The Jealous Girlfriends – “Roboxulla”
MP3: The Jealous Girlfriends – “Something In The Water”
MP3: The Jealous Girlfriends – “Machines”
Video: The Jealous Girlfriends – “How Now”
MySpace: The Jealous Girlfriends

The AV Club talks process and Express talks love with Jens Lekman Jens is at the Great Hall next Tuesday night and it appears that that show is now (again) sold out. As it happens, I’ve got an extra ticket for that one so if anyone hesitated and is now lost, drop me a line. Ticket gone!

A few people have been asking me about on-sale dates for the R.E.M. show at the Molson Amphitheatre on June 8… well dig up your Ticketmaster passwords because they’re going to be available this Saturday morning, April 5, at 10 AM and will run $30 for lawns up to $90 for seats. Yeah. You know what? I’ve seen Stipey up close, it’s not all that. And if you’re really keen, there’s a presale that starts today at 10AM, though it appears that you need to be a member of their mailing list to be eligible. It’s probably just the reserved seating – giving hardcore fans first dibs at a patch of grass doesn’t make much sense.

Wireless Bollinger and New York Magazine feature Destroyer, who is in town for a show at Lee’s Palace on April 19.

The Long Blondes would like you to watch the video for the lead-off track from Couples, which will be out next Tuesday. They would also like for you to see them at Lee’s Palace on May 22, but don’t want to be all pushy. Start with the video, see where that takes you. And if that goes well, perhaps get to know them a bit via interviews with Heckler Spray, The Scotsman, The Belfast Telegraph and The Sunday Mail.

Video: The Long Blondes – “Century”

Dayrobber is a Swedish webzine that was recently brought to my attention, in particular their feature called “The Band” wherein they conduct video interviews with different artists… like this one with Lucky Soul.

Thanks to Melody for pointing out in the comments yesterday that Basia Bulat will be playing the annual free show at Harbourfront Centre on Canada Day. Considering that Canada Day falls on a Tuesday this year, I’m assuming this show will happen on the preceding Sunday, June 29, but am not sure. I’ll let you know when I find confirmation.

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

    pollstar has basia bulat playing ottawa on canada day so your hunch about the sunday in toronto might be true

  2. matthew says:

    I was just about to say that about Basia in Ottawa.

    And I’d totally disregarded the Jealous Girlfriends album that arrived in my mailbox, since I heard that CD-R and figured it was the exact same thing. I’ll give it a listen now, and see if the different running order/one new song makes me any more excited for it…

  3. Frank says:

    I figured the weekend since Harbourfront’s free shows are always on the weekend. Last couple years, Canada Day has been on the weekend so it’s been easy to figure. I don’t remember if they do Saturday and Sunday bills, though, so if so Basia could be on either one.

  4. Eugene says:

    Frank – Did you go to the Gary Louris show? Got a review or pics?