Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Good Morning

Review of Rogue Wave’s Permalight and giveaway

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceRogue Wave’s 2003 debut Out Of The Shadow was aptly named, considering they’d spend the first few years of their existence trying to accomplish just that from their labelmates The Shins. Both helped Sub Pop shed its hard rock reputation and redefine itself as the go-to label for quality indie-pop, but it was The Shins that busted out into mainstream success while Rogue Wave toiled away to just modest acclaim.

Fast-forward a few (or more than a few years) and Sub Pop is now known as sensitive bearded dude central, The Shins are down to just frontman James Mercer and on hiatus, and Rogue Wave trundles on. No longer on Sub Pop, the lineup has changed a number of times – frontman Zach Schwartz and drummer Pat Spurgeon the only constants – and endured more than their fair share of hardships and tragedies including but not limited to paralysis, organ failure and death. But with their fourth album Permalight, due out March 2, they have come out through it all with possibly the most upbeat and enjoyable album yet.

Their sound has taken exceptionally well to the addition of electronic elements, the injection of synths and loops helping the record’s standout tracks reach an orbit that earlier albums had only hinted at. The simple folk-pop structures, sharp melodicism and gentle, dreamy vocals that have always lain at the heart of Schwartz’s compositions remain, but the production augments them, Steve Austin-style, such that the tunes feel tauter, more dynamic and hookier than certainly I ever thought they’d be able to deliver. Numbers such as “Good Morning” and the title track burst forth from the speakers with technicolour vim, sounding not like a band beaten down by life but buoyed by it, despite it all. Shins, the ball is in your court.

Rogue Wave on tour starting at the end of this month and through April in support of the new record. They’re playing the Mod Club in Toronto on February 26 – tickets are $15 in advance, but courtesy of LiveNation, I’ve got three pairs of passes to give away to the show. To enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to ride the Rogue Wave” in the subject line and your full name in the body – contest closes at midnight, February 22. And while you’re angling for free Rogue Wave stuff, head over here to trade your email for a download of the album’s opening track.

MP3: Rogue Wave – “Good Morning”
MySpace: Rogue Wave

The Scotsman profiles Spoon, in town on March 29 at the Sound Academy.

JamBase talks to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Kurt Vile will play an in-store at Criminal Records on Friday, February 26th in advance of his show opening up for Fucked Up at the Opera House later that evening. Exact time to be determined. In-store goes at 6:30PM.

MP3: Kurt Vile – “Overnite Religion”
MP3: Kurt Vile – “Hunchback”

Pitchfork asks Ted Leo to list off his most profound musical influences at all ages from youth to today. His new album The Brutalist Bricks is out March 9.

Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields tells Chart that advances in technology have facilitated his return to synthesizers on his next record, while NPR has an interview and session.

Crawdaddy talks to Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, while Stereogum gets a look around his Oklahoma City digs.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews The Antlers. They’re at the Phoenix tonight opening up for Editors.

JAM has a feature piece on Wilco. They’re in the area next week with shows at Hamilton Place Theatre on February 23 and London’s Centennial Hall on February 24.

Westword talks to Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

Pitchfork interviews Beach House, in town at the Opera House on March 30.

Holly Miranda is currently streaming the whole of her solo debut The Magician’s Private Library at her MySpace a week ahead of its February 23 release.

Stream: Holly Miranda / The Magician’s Private Library

Illness has forced Kings Of Convenience to postpone their North American tour, which was supposed to start last week. That’s postponed, not canceled – the February 18 date at The Phoenix will be made up on June 8, same venue.

Sweden’s Sambassadeur are sharing another track from their forthcoming album European, due out February 23.

MP3: Sambassadeur – “Stranded”

By : Frank Yang at 8:32 am
Category: Contests

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  1. Lee says:

    I’m usually with ya, Frank, but couldn’t disagree more about the new Rogue Wave. Posted a review about it as well if you’d like to see my reasoning