Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Give Me Back My Heart Attack

Photo via Saddle Creek

There’s long-awaited, and then there’s long-awaited. And then there’s Some Are Lakes from Land Of Talk. Ever since first discovering the Montreal trio way back in June of 2006 and subsequently playing their debut mini-album Applause Cheer Boo Hiss pretty much to death, I’ve been waiting for the follow-up. And waiting. And waiting. But thanks to the nature of buzz, crafting their first proper full-length was constantly put off as the record was picked up in new territory after new territory and the band subsequently had to tour to support, rather than head back into the studio. Throw in some personnel changes – original drummer Bucky Wheaton left in Spring of 2007, his replacement Eric Thibodeau didn’t stick around too long and by the time it came to actually record, they had to enlist Andrew Barr of The Slip to handle drum duties – and you have the perfect scenario to never complete a record.

But they eventually did and it’s finally here – available now digitally and out in physical form on October 7. And for something that has been such a long time in coming, it’s awful familiar sounding. And yet not. To the former, there’s the simple fact that songs like “Young Bridge” and “Death By Fire” have been live staples for a while and also appeared in studio sessions and even though this is their first “official” release, they’re already like old friends. And to the latter, the choice of Mr Bon Iver – Justin Vernon – as producer has moved the band away just enough from the white-fuzz angst and intensity of Applause Cheer to merit a fresh look from those who thought they knew what Land Of Talk were about.

Liz Powell’s yearning voice remains unmistakable and her ability to craft evocative lyrics wrapped around elliptical yet memorable melodies is still omnipresent, but there’s more space and more patience in Some Are Lakes. It’s many miles from overproduced, but compared to the debut (with the exception of “Corner Phone” which is still all out to the wall), it’s considerably less needle-in-red throughout – an aesthetic that worked well for first impressions but probably would have offered diminishing returns if it had been maintained. There’s still moments of full-on rock out, but rather than ride the inherent energy of lo-fi recording, they utilize greater songwriting dynamics to get their point across. Lakes might make less of an immediate jackhammer first impression than Applause did, but it reveals some heretofore unrevealed thoughtfulness and sophistication that will surely serve Land Of Talk well in the long run.

The band are conducting a short headlining tour this week across Quebec and Ontario, culminating in a show at Lee’s Palace in Toronto this Saturday night before setting out across America as support for (and as a member of ) Broken Social Scene in October – and then doing a set of Western Canadian dates in November. Liz Powell talks to Chart and Queen’s Journal about her musical roots and to about the anxieties of being the new Broken Social Lady, at least for this tour. Soundproof also has an interview.

MP3: Land Of Talk – “Some Are Lakes”
MP3: Land Of Talk – “Corner Phone”
MySpace: Land Of Talk

The Boston Globe talks to Basia Bulat.

NYC Taper interviews John Darnielle of Mountain Goats.

I guess I missed the actual day (last Friday) but there’s a new song available from Lambchop’s forthcoming OH (ohio). The record is out October 7 and Kurt Wagner plays songs from it solo-style on October 6. New York Magazine has an interview.

MP3: Lambchop – “National Talk Like A Pirate Day”

Joseph Arthur will be at Lee’s Palace on November 1 in support of his new record Temporary People, out September 30. Watch the video and download the MP3 for the title track at Stereogum.

Eagles Of Death Metal bring their Heart On – out October 21 – to the Mod Club on November 13. Full tour dates at BrooklynVegan.

Billboard and Indy Week interview Mac McCaughan of Portastatic about both the Some Small History retrospective and the 20th anniversary of Merge Records.

Paul Westerberg talks to Newsday about the re-release of The Replacements’ final four albums are out on Tuesday.

So I’ve been toying with the idea of going to New York City again, just for kicks, but looking for the proper excuse, and while normally I’d consider the CMJ Music Marathon to be the exact opposite of a good reason, there’s two artists in attendance who had me pricing flights and hotel rooms for the second-last weekend in October – Emmy The Great and Lucky Soul. I’ve seen the former before but the latter, whom I tried unsuccessfully to get to Austin for SxSW this past Spring, are playing on the 24th at a Music Snobbery-sponsored show, and by god I’d get on a plane to see that. Unfortunately, it seems there’s not a hotel room to be found in Manhattan for under $300 a night and I’m sorry, I’m not quite hardcore about anyone enough to pay as much as it’d probably cost me to fly them up here and have them play in my living room. So net value of this paragraph? Uhhh… nothing.

By : Frank Yang at 8:39 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post10 Responses.
  1. K. says:

    I have found apartments in great neighbourhoods in NYC for under $150 a night, using Craigslist. Just a head’s up. You don’t end up feeling too much like a tourist, which is great too.

  2. Joe says:

    The new Land of Talk album is going to be so good.
    There’s actually a good story on SoundProof, as well.

  3. nippleholic says:

    I’ll be in NYC during the 24th and 25th…I’ve already got tickets to see Broken Social Scene on the 24th and am thinking of checking out the Monotonix show…any other suggestions?

  4. Roland says:

    Frank, you can totally crash here – if you don’t mind staying in an NYU dorm. We have plenty of space!

  5. Andrew says:

    On a side note – the Mogwai show has been cancelled…


  6. Dude says:

    Check out Jesus & Mary Chain is hitting out a 4-disc boxet.

  7. Heard says:

    Re: Land Of Talk
    Liz has laryngitis and has cancelled Ontario to recover for the US and Europe tours.

  8. Frank says:

    bummer, though the MySpace only shows Peterborough and Sherbrooke as cancelled. Maybe they’re playing the other dates by ear or do you know for certain that all ontario dates are off?

  9. Frank says:

    never mind – myspace now shows them all cancelled.

  10. Aimz says:

    Oh, that sucks. I saw Liz solo at Hillside this year. Didn’t know the name of her band. Thanks for educating me! Too bad they canceled.