Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

To Rest In Peace On Righteous Tides

Photo by Frank Yang

Happy birthday, Canada. You don’t look a day over 140.

It’s become a local Canada Day tradition to trek down to Harbourfront Centre where they offer free concerts featuring the happening Canadian artist du jour – past fetes featuring the likes of Feist, The Dears and Final Fantasy – and that tradition continues tonight with performances from Martha Wainwright and Basia Bulat. But don’t be surprised if before long, you see Ohbijou’s name on that bill.

This year they were on the Harbourfront main stage a couple days early, this past Saturday, not for the Canada Day celebration but for the Rocky Mountain High festival, which kicked off this year’s series of World Routes programming. The context of this event was to celebrate The Banff Centre, an arts centre in Alberta at which Ohbijou spent a week and a half in residency earlier this year, working with other artists and producers in composing material for the follow-up to 2006’s lovely Swift Feet For Troubling Times.

I hadn’t seen the band since their triumphant show at Lee’s Palace last November so it was good to renew the acquaintance. In the interim, they’ve not much changed their sound – if it ain’t broke and all that – but some growth and refinement was evident in the orchestrations and arrangements. Though they had to contend with a few distractions over the course of their set – a bagpipe-led pirate parade and a Jacko-soundtracked yacht party were both difficult to ignore – their sweet sounds wafting out over the lake would win out… though mainly because the pirates kept moving until they were out of earshot. That was tough to ignore. But a splendid way to spend an afternoon by the water and a fine reminder that anticipation for Ohbijou’s second album, hopefully due out Fall-ish, should be high.

CBC Radio 2 is streaming a concert Ohbijou played in March to close out their residency at the Banff Centre.

Photos: Ohbijou @ Harbourfront Centre – June 28, 2008
MP3: Ohbijou – “St Francis”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Misty Eyes”
MP3: Ohbijou – “Steep”
Video: Ohbijou

I’d like to make this post all-Canadian content, but there’s simply not much out there. I’ve got this CBC piece rating various covers of Canadian songs (though the rationale in the comments for including Heart as a Canuck act do not fly at all) and this interview with Hayden over at Aquarium Drunkard, but beyond that, nada.

Back in May, commenter Chuck said “Every time I see the words ‘Mates of State’ in your entries, I always cross my fingers and say ‘please let it be followed by a Toronto show announcement’….sigh. Make my wish come true.” Well Chuck, courtesy of the “Make A Wish Foundation”, your dream has come true. Mates Of State at Lee’s Palace on August 4, tickets $15. Now let me guess – you’re out of town for the long weekend. HA. They’ve just released a new video to go along with the first MP3 made available from their new album Re-Arrange Us. Vindy.com talks to the band.

MP3: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”
Video: Mates Of State – “My Only Offer”

Mates Of States’ new labelmates at Barsuk in Ra Ra Riot will also be coming to town exactly one month later for a show at the Horseshoe. Their debut The Rhumb Line is out August 19 and their live show is dazzling.

Also out August 19 is You & Me, the new album from The Walkmen. They’re also coming to town and will be at Lee’s Palace on September 10. They stopped in at Daytrotter earlier this year, but don’t look for a preview of the new record – they only recorded Leonard Cohen covers.

The AV Club interviews Silver Jew David Berman. They’re at Lee’s Palace on September 2.

David Bowie picks his favourite David Bowie songs for Mail On Sunday.

Another Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds video? Yes, please. That’s clips now for four of the eleven tracks on Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! released as singles now, and there’s surely at least a couple more in the queue before they play the Kool Haus on October 1. Nick Cave, MTV star – it could happen. Okay, no it couldn’t.

Video: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Midnight Man”

Former Mendoza Line singer Shannon McCardle has readied her solo debut Summer Of The Whore for release on August 19. Considering how… untidy the end of her band and marriage was, expect this record to be a touch cathartic. One track from the record is available to download below, another is streaming at her MySpace. Her ex-husband and ex-bandmate was operating as Timothy Bracy’s Collection Agency late last year, but any sign of them seems to have been stricken from the internet (read: their MySpace is gone). Curious.

MP3: Shannon McCardle – “Poison My Cup”

Paste reports that though it was touch and go for a while, Jon Favreau has signed on to direct Iron Man 2. And he knows who’s going to be in the Avengers movie. Beans. Spilt. Everywhere.

By : Frank Yang at 9:26 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Chuck says:

    Hey Frank, remember that time when I wanted to give you a million hugs?

    If I’d known about the Mates date last night I would have came up to you at the Mogwai show and thanked you personally for making my Canada Day that much brighter.

  2. mike says:

    Thanks for The Walkmen show info, but not to the extent I want to give you a million hugs. Ha ha.

  3. rajiv. says:

    hahahahahahaha Chuck you’re my fave.

  4. Rob says:

    Any other info on the new Ohbijou album?