Friday, November 6th, 2009


Ume at The Horseshoe in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWhen I got all effusive about seeing Austin’s Ume way back at SxSW in March, it wasn’t just because they their showcase blew me away – it did – but because I also figured that it would be my last chance to see and write about the trio until SxSW next year, so there was no point in being measured. After all, they were a small band with no label, no tour support and hailing from a long ways away from Toronto meant the odds of catching them up live again were remote. Sound logic, and also completely wrong. They found their way up here in June to play NXNE, turning in a fiery performance at Neutral that proved to everyone I’d harassed to attend that I wasn’t full of it and they were, indeed, the awesome.

And it must be true that good things come in threes because they were back – again – this past Tuesday night for a free show at the Horseshoe. This time, it was a combination of a modest Canadian tour appended onto a jaunt to CMJ in New York and the proper (read: physical) Canadian release of their Sunshower EP, which had heretofore only been available digitally. But the whys were unimportant – all that mattered was that Ume were back in town; rock would ensue.

For a review of the actual performance itself, I can really just refer you back to the other two I did, or offer the Coles/Cliffs notes: songs that balance sweet pop hooks with snarling heaviness, equal debts to punk, stoner, shoegaze and alt rock, insane guitar abuse/heroics and awesome hair-whipping from frontwoman Lauren Larsen and an audience awestruck and won over. It’s hard to say for sure, but I think there were at least a couple of new songs in the mix compared to the Neutral gig and considering that the unfamiliar stuff still sounded great; as much as I like the fact that they’re touring relentlessly hither and yon, I hope that once they’ve returned home and taken a breather, that they’re hitting the studio to work on a new album. Sunshower has done a fine job of sustaining me, but its only five songs – I need more.

There’s an excerpt of Ume’s cover feature in Austin’s Soundcheck magazine available online and the full magazine (and article) are downloadable in PDF form.

Photos: Ume @ The Horseshoe – November 3, 2009
MP3: Ume – “The Conductor”
MP3: Ume – “Pendulum”
MP3: Ume – “Wake”
Video: Ume – “The Conductor”
MySpace: Ume is offering downloads of the famous early Liz Phair demos of the same name. Oh Liz, where did it all go wrong (that’s rhetorical – everyone knows exactly where it all went wrong).

MP3: Liz Phair – “Fuck And Run”
MP3: Liz Phair – “Polyester Bride”

The Guest Apartment has a video session with Headlights.

Crawdaddy profiles White Rabbits.

State interviews Yo La Tengo.

Beatroute talks to Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. Barlow will play the Phoenix on January 21 both solo and with Dino Jr.

Neko Case talks to The Seacoast.

Soundproof and Clash have features on The Dodos.

HeroHill solicits five funky stories from Oh No Forest Fires, who’ve got a show at the Horseshoe on December 12.

Jenn Grant, who plays the Glenn Gould Theatre on November 26, has released a new video from Echoes.

Video: Jenn Grant – “You’ll Go Far”

The Aquarian interviews Peter Moren of Peter Bjorn & John, who have a date at the Phoenix on November 11.

Swedish electro-soul outfit Miike Snow, who is a “they” and not a “he”, are at the Phoenix on April 3.

Video: Miike Snow – “Black & Blue”

The Music Slut asks eight questions of Mew. They have a date at the Mod Club on December 6.

The Raveonettes are giving away a free b-side from In And Out Of Control. The San Francisco Examiner and North Country Times also have interviews.

MP3: The Raveonettes – “The Chosen One”

Sigur Ros are streaming their Heima concert film at PitchforkTV for a week.

Video: Heima

Pitchfork reports that Mogwai’s live documentary film Burning will premiere at a Danish film festival next week and that an accompanying soundtrack album entitled Special Moves will follow.

New Jarvis Cocker video! Watch Jarv bring the title track and cover art of Further Complications to life.

Video: Jarvis Cocker – “Further Complications”

Radio Free Canuckistan has an interview with Jon Cook, the author of the Merge Records book Our Noise, which I look forward to picking up now that I’ve finally finished A Confederacy Of Dunces. A wonderful book which should not have taken me anywhere near the 6 months or so it took me to get through it; I just stopped reading anything, really, through the Summer. And now I have much to catch up on.

By : Frank Yang at 8:35 am
Category: Concert Reviews

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post7 Responses.
  1. Bob says:

    Dang, I knew I’d regret not going to the show. And I do.

  2. Bruce says:

    Does Ms. Larsen make a great photo subject, or what? (No wind machine necessary.) The shots turned out great!

  3. Claire says:

    Just saw UME last night (opening for FOTL), having not heard of them before. Everything you say is true. Def a mid-period Sonic Youth vibe, with a little Land of Talk, with crazy guitar work (she was doing those arrpegios like it was no thing!). Super nice person too, as I found out at the merch table, where I had no problem purchasing both the EP and their first album (yes, they have one – it predates the EP). I’m pretty overwhelmed, borderline jaded really, by new music, but this was a pleasant surprise.

  4. David Oliver says:

    Did you have your flash for this Ume show as well?

    I’m kind’ve sad I didn’t get to see her again.

  5. Frank Yang says:

    I brought the flash but didn’t use it – there was just enough light that I decided to go au natural.

  6. Year-end love for Ume | Karate Body Records says:

    […] Chromewaves Live Review at Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto […]

  7. Chromewaves Review of Um at Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto | Ume says:

    […] hair-whipping from frontwoman Lauren Larson and an audience awestruck and won over.” – Chromewaves . More pics from the show here. This entry was posted in news. Bookmark the permalink. […]