Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Listen To The Math

Photo via Saddle Creek

When Tokyo Police Club released their debut mini-album A Lesson In Crime in 2006, I don’t think anyone expected that the Toronto-via-Newmarket quartet would get the mileage out of it that they did. But they somehow managed to parlay that 16 minutes into an impressive upward trajectory that would put them on major festival stages and late-night talk shows by 2007’s end. I think that might set a record for success-to-recorded minutes ratio.

But you can only ride that much material for so long, so in between relentless touring schedules the band has managed to piece together their first proper full-length in the just-released Elephant Shell. It breezes through 11 songs in an efficient 28 minutes – you can’t accuse these guys of not getting to the point – but never feels rushed. The new material is almost precisely what you’d expect from the band, staying close enough to the recipe that made A Lesson In Crime the success that is was – one part jaggy post-punk, one part high energy pop, a touch less frantic, a touch more melodic – while expanding their sonic palate just enough that you can’t accuse them of treading water. Nothing makes as immediate an impression as Crime‘s “Nature Of The Experiment” – “Your English Is Good” is a standout but that could simply be familiarity, as it was released as a single last year – but it’s all consistently solid. And more importantly, should give them enough material to go three or four years before having to put out another album.

Tokyo Police Club play two sold-out, hometown shows at the Opera House on May 2 and 3 and in addition, frontman Dave Monks will be doing an acoustic the band will play a fully electric in-store on the 3rd at Criminal Records on Queen West. As one of the bigger Canadian releases on the year there’s a lot of press around it including features from Chart, The Montreal Gazette, The Toronto Star, The Montreal Mirror, JAM, Canadian Press and also south of the border from The New York Daily News and Seven.

And, courtesy of Universal Music Canada, I’ve got two copies of Elephant Shell on vinyl to give away (and considering how long the whole album is, maybe it’s pressed at 45RPM). To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want the Tokyo Police Club” in the subject and your full mailing address in the body. Contest open to residents of Canada and will close at midnight, April 29. Also note that I Heart Music is giving away a copy of the album on CD as well.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “In A Cave”
MP3: Tokyo Police Club – “Juno”
Video: Tokyo Police Club – “Tesselate”
Stream: Tokyo Police Club / Elephant Shell
MySpace: Tokyo Police Club

Also on the Tokyo Police Club itinerary is an appearance at this year’s Rogers Picnic, taking place on July 20 at Historic Fort York. Chart has the lineup which is a bit of a curious one, headlined by City & Colour, who are apparently big with the kids, a trio of acts cribbed from the Pitchfork Festival in Cat Power, Animal Collective and Dizzee Rascal (could they not get Jarvis Cocker in the package deal?) and rounded out by homegrown talent in TPC, Born Ruffians, Chromeo and The Carps. Tickets are $49.50 and go on sale today.

They (Tokyo Police Club) are also part of the massive lineup performing at this year’s Ottawa Bluesfest, taking place on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa from July 3 through 13. Acts are far too many to name, but they run the gamut from Feist to Brian Wilson, TV On The Radio to Calexico, Lucinda Williams to Metric. In other words, ridiculous. The Ottawa Citizen talks to the organizers about this year’s event.

Drowned In Sound talks to Lykke Li, who will release her Little Bit EP in North America May 6 and be at the Mod Club on May 11.

Aimee Mann talks to Paste about her new record @#%&! Smilers, out June 3.

Duffy has released a third video from Rockferry, which isn’t officially out in North America until May 13 but pretty much every record store I’ve been to has it for decidedly non-import prices already. She talks to MTV about the tears in the vid.

Video: Duffy – “Warwick Avenue”

The Daily Times, PopMatters and The Grand Rapids Press talk to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

The Tripwire features an interview with head Frightened Rabbit Scott Hutchinson.

Exclaim! reports that The Twilight Sad will release a new EP in Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did. It will feature four alternate versions of tracks from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters and two new ones, including a Daniel Johnston. It will be released on June 9 in vinyl and digital form. No CDs.

Also eschewing CDs is Elvis Costello, who this week released his latest album Momofuku on LP only. Billboard reports that the vinyl comes with a coupon for a digital download of the album that will become active on May 1, and then on May 6 the record will be released on CD for those of us Luddites still clinging to the digital age. The last one, not the current one.

PopMatters 20 questions Nada Surf.

By : Frank Yang at 8:24 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Adam K. says:

    The Besnard Lakes will be opening for Swervedriver @ Lee’s on June 13th and MMJ @ Kool Haus on the 16th. Pretty cool.

  2. Melody says:

    I don’t know if you’ll be interested, but Smoosh will be playing an in-store at Sonic Boom on May 2nd.